Immortalized in the cafe society days by Noel Coward, pilloriedin its suburban dreariness by John Cheever and perceived by the younger set as a decadent, elitist Estabishment throwback in the '60s and '70s, the cocktail partyeven fizzled a bit among their elders, particularly during the no-frills Carter years, a period notably bereft of smart Washington soirees.


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