September 15, 2014

Movie stars, heiresses, tycoons— in the early to mid 20th century, they turned the Caribbean into the American Riviera. Hermes Mallea’s Escape: The Heyday of Caribbean Glamour (Rizzoli) chronicles the birth of the palm-lined playgrounds and extravagant, colonial-style resorts that fueled our country’s fascination with the tropics. Ernest Hemingway poses with the day’s catch (swordfish) in Bimini; the Duke and Duchess of Windsor play cards in their tassel-and-toile-filled Nassau living room; Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward take a straw-hatted holiday at Jamaica’s Round Hill. All of it proves that elemental truth: tans may fade, but the lure of paradise is forever.

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