Date Started: May 8, 2011. 11:45 PM. My room. My edition has an introduction. Reading it reminded of that voluminous novel of Tolstoy, War and Peace. And when I got to the first chapter, it felt like rereading War and Peace! The opening scene was at an opera. High society people were talking about this person and that person. Already, I felt challenged. I was about to draw the family tree of the great and ruling families mentioned in the society of old New York, but I decided not to. I just kept my focus on the main characters.