Barbara Weisberg, STRONG PASSIONS: A Scandalous Divorce in Old New York

Event date: 
Tuesday, May 7, 2024 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
Oblong Rhinebeck
6422 Montgomery Street
Rhinebeck, NY 12572


“In 1864, the nation was riveted by a society divorce trial that had everything: cheating, wealth, feuding brothers and lurid details Weisberg’s sensitive examination reconstructs the trial while giving dimension to the real-life people involved.”―The New York Times Book Review “Editors Choice”

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Barbara WeisbergStrong Passions: A Scandalous Divorce in Old New York by Barbara Weisberg

The divorce trial Strong v. Strong riveted the nation during the final throes and aftermath of the Civil War, offering a shocking glimpse into the private world of New York’s powerful and privileged elite. Barbara Weisberg presents the chaotic courtroom and panoply of witnesses―governess, housekeeper, private detective, sisters-in-law, and many others―who provided contradictory and often salacious testimony. She then asks us to be the jury, deciding each spouse’s guilt and the possibility of a just resolution. Social history at its most intimate, Strong Passions charts a trial’s twists and turns to portray a family and country in turmoil as they faced conflicts over women’s changing roles, male custody of children, and men’s power―financial and otherwise―over wives.

Barbara Weisberg is a former television producer and the author of Talking to the Dead: Kate and Maggie Fox and the Rise of Spiritualism. She lives with her husband in upstate New York.

Oblong Books in Rhinebeck is a fully wheelchair accessible space with on-site van accessible parking. Microphones and speakers will not be used at this event but can be made available with advance notice. Our chairs are stackable and have arms. If you have specific questions about the space or how an event can be made more accessible to you, please do not hesitate to contact us:


Strong Passions: A Scandalous Divorce in Old New York By Barbara Weisberg Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393531527
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 20th, 2024