Although this duplicates small parts of The New Emily Post's Etiquette, most is less concerned with social niceties than with the preliminaries and background details of entertaining. Advance preparation is the main message, from cocktails or small suppers to galas and children's parties (""Have every minute planned""). There is some attempt to reflect changing times, to move away from the formal traditions of service plates and oyster-fork placements, but often the efforts fall short of the mark. The authors are gingerly, for instance, about guests who smoke, either cigarettes (""A hostess' first duty is to make her guests happy"") or marijuana (""get some lively games or activities under way to distract them""). They do include suggestions for those entertaining without hired help or on limited budgets (dessert ideas from Nestle and Lenotres), and they recommend a number of useful pamphlets (free from Uncle Ben's, $6.95 from Tiffany). But the accent is on fancier protocols (napkin folding, reminder cards), and expectations are a little uppity (""once you have developed a continuing relationship with one florist. . ."").