Bernard Madoff''s Ponzi scheme has devastated the eternally sunny
world of Palm Beach, bringing down multimillionaires and destroying
once wealthy widows. At the center of the scandal is the isolated,
insulated winter home of the mega wealthy. Suddenly, everyone in
America is talking about the South Florida island and the rarified
life so apart from the rest of America. Everyone wants to know what
are the deepest truths of this strange, exotic universe of wealth
In Madness Under the Royal Palms, Laurence Leamer has
the answers. It took him fifteen years to get them, and to expose
the inner life and drama of the wealthy as it has never been
exposed before. It is an often shocking, scandalous book that will
forever change not only the way Palm Beach is viewed but the life
of wealth and privilege in America.
Leave it to Leamer, the bestselling author known for getting the
inside story on his elusive subjects, to take us behind the walls
of America''s most exclusive enclave of wealth and privilege. In
Madness, Leamer tells a braided story involving a
socialite determined to make it to the top of Palm Beach society,
two infamous murders, and a powerful society reporter. As a
backdrop, Leamer tells the story of the clash between old money and
new, religion and status, and the love, lust, and fatal hatreds
that determine the shape of a fiercely protected society. The cast
of characters include trophy wives, trophy husbands, purported
gigolos, glamorous widows, a pioneering gay couple, a wildly
irreverent event planner, a sociopathic multimillionaire, and an
elegant society queen.
For a hundred years Palm Beach has been a fantasy land nurtured
by, and maintained for, the megawealthy. In the end, Leamer''s tale
of money, murder and mad pretension reveals a darker strain.
Uncovering that strain, as the author himself writes, turned into
as fascinating, in some cases as shocking, and always as unexpected
a journey as I have ever taken.