American Empress is a sweeping history of the dramatic life of heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, daughter of breakfast-cereal magnate C. W. Post. As a young girl growing up in the Midwest, Marjorie Post helped glue cereal boxes in her father's barn, later became a board member of his company, wed a diplomat and by late middle age was widely acknowledged as the unofficial "Queen of Washington, D.C."
The glamorous and warm-hearted Mrs. Post was also mother to actress Dina Merrill. Throughout her life, she gave generously to hundreds of civic, artistic and philanthropic causes, among which were the National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington Ballet and the Kennedy Center. By virtue of her brains, beauty and great wealth, Mrs. Post was a woman well ahead of her era, whose natural business acumen created the frozen foods industry and transformed the Postum Cereal Company into the General Foods Corporation.