This entertaining and engaging bio of Cunard challenges the popular perception of the “poor little rich girl” who slummed her way toward self destruction. Paris Hilton, however, she was not. Indeed, the author goes to great pains to demonstrate that Cunard felt genuine compassion for victims of political oppression, and that she had the courage to fight for her convictions. Alas, she also had an insatiable appetite for men, alcohol, and art, all of which eventually consumed her. Gordon also does a masterful job of providing letters and anecdotes from Cunard contemporaries which demonstrate the tragic heiress’ biting humor and droll observations.