By  on February 5, 2019

“Theater of Shopping: The Story of Stanley Whitman’s Bal Harbour Shops,” which is being released this month by Rizzoli, isn’t the vanity biography one might expect. Rather than a bland byproduct of the marketing department, it’s a good read with side threads about the Whitman family’s charmed life as well as the history of Miami Beach, retail and shopping centers. Whitman didn’t hold back on dishing juicy details either. For example, his industry peers will be shocked to learn the visionary developer behind the luxury mall once ate a maggot as a brotherly dare.

“His family wanted to take that bit out, but he was more inclined to tell the real story,” said author Alastair Gordon, who interviewed Whitman over years of lunches at Bal Harbour Shops’ restaurants. “I guess who cares by that age. [Whitman died at the age of 98 in 2017.] He was very open.”

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