As he has done before, David Patrick Columbia has come to some contrarian conclusions today on New York Social Diary about the close of the trial of Brooke Astor’s only child Anthony Marshall. Readers of this blog likely already know that I agree with him. “This was a household, a life, which was about the money,” Columbia writes. “It was about the money for the lady and about the money for everyone around her, including her staff, her son, naturally, and at least one of her grandsons, not to mention the Metropolitan Museum and The New York Public Library. It was about the money. It was about the money when Brooke Russell married Vincent Astor. It was about the money when the lawyer referred to it as a trial “about greed” (the lawyers’ greed, notwithstanding of course — the legal bills have now run into the millions and have crippled the Marshalls). It was always about the money. And the ultimate irony is that by the time it’s over, there will be much much much less for everyone, including every charitable institution.” For the back story on the whole mess and many of the leading players involved, there’s Rogues’ Gallery: The Secret History of the Moguls and the Money That Made The Metropolitan Museum.