From its origins in 1874 as an intimate actors' dining club, The Lambs by 1925 had become the most famous theatrical club in the world--the stuff of fable. Fred Astaire said, ""When I was made a Lamb I felt as if I had been knighted."" The Lambs provides a microcosm of the New York theatre, its fortunes changing in direct relation to the ebb and flow of Broadway and the nation. The roster of its 6,000 members over the years includes Irving Berlin, W.C. Fields, John Barrymore and Will Rogers, with honorary members like John Wayne and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Drawn extensively from The Lambs' official archives, and including many anecdotes from oral histories, this is the definitive history of the venerable club. It traces The Lambs' roots in London and its initial development in America, dominated by English and later Irish actors. The work then covers The Lambs' famous touring ""Gambols"" in the first decades of the 20th century; rivals like The Players and The Friars; patriotic efforts during World War I and World War II; the Red Scare in 1919; Prohibition and the club's high water mark in the 1920s; devastation during the Great Depression; continued decline toward bankruptcy in 1975; and relocation and resurgence today. The book includes numerous rare photographs, bibliography and four appendices.