Known internationally as a symbol of elegance and luxury, Manhattan's Waldorf-Astoria is one of the world's most famous hotels. Its reputation as a host to political leaders and movie stars is matched only by the renown of its cuisine and soaring Deco architecture. Now, historian David Freeland takes us behind the glittering image to reveal the full extent of the Waldorf's contribution as a shaper of twentieth-century life and culture. In the process, we discover how the Waldorf reflected pivotal social issues while honoring its mission to offer hospitality to a diverse range of guests. Filled with the events and personalities that accompanied New York's rise as a world capital, American Hotel is both a chronicle of a great city and a testament to the influential position hotels have occupied within the urban landscape.