The December 6, 2010 issue of The Weekly Standard carries my review of Kathryn Allamong Jacob, The Life and Times of Sam Ward, Man-About-Washington in the Gilded Age (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009).
Sam Ward was quite a character—fantastically smart, frequently short-sighted, and endlessly lurching from fabulous success to disaster. When he arrived in Washington, DC in 1859, he came into his own. In a short time he was deemed King of the Lobby and known for his lavish dinners and gifts.
You can read the review online at http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/business-usual_519573.html.
You can shop for a copy here.