Jewish American Royalty

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Baroness of HobcawBaroness of Hobcaw:  The Life of Belle W. Baruch
by Mary E. Miller
Univ. of South Carolina Press. 212 pages, $29.95

 

THE PRIVILEGED and charmed life of Belle W. Baruch (1899–1964), daughter of Wall Street financier and presidential adviser Bernard M. Baruch, was marked by curious unorthodoxies in temperament and behavior. Looking more like a tall, gawky young man than like a “lady” of her era, Belle’s greatest love was perhaps her father, Bernard, who owned a vast estate in South Carolina that he called Hobcaw Barony, a seaside retreat that included several small islands and all manner of wildlife. It was here that Belle grew up under her father’s wing, and where she came to resemble him, right down to her adoption of his condescending racial attitudes towards Baroney’s black servants. It’s a setting that author Mary E. Miller describes as “almost feudal” and “one of noblesse oblige.”  

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