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Edith Kermit Roosevelt: Portrait of a First Lady (Modern Library Paperbacks) Paperback – September 4, 2001


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Edith Kermit Roosevelt: Portrait of a First Lady (Modern Library Paperbacks) + Huck's Raft: A History of American Childhood
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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Library Paperbacks
  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library; New edition edition (September 4, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375757686
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375757686
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Marvelously full-blooded, engagingly written."
--Newsweek

"An endlessly engrossing book, at once of historical and human importance... Morris's indefatigably busy camera catches everything that is catchable. The result is a narrative that one will want to return to and mull over, conscious of the hundred and one details that might have been missed the first time around, and with a reader's freedom to speculate that Morris admirably denies herself."
--R.W.B. Lewis, The Washington Post

"Morris excels at putting Edith in her place in charge of the First Family at a heady time in American history."
--Newsweek

"A splendid biography... One reads on, intrigued by the character that emerges."
--Chicago Sun-Times

"This biography represents craftsmanship of the highest order."
--The Christian Science Monitor

"A story as fascinating and well-written as a novel."
--Worcester Telegram

"A superb life story enchantingly told."
--Richmond Times-Dispatch

"A warmly vivid account of a refined, intelligent, and gracious lady and a contribution to the history of an era."
--David H. Burton, St. Joseph's University

From the Inside Flap

Edith Kermit Carow grew up in New York City in the same circles as did Theodore Roosevelt. But only after TR's first wife died at age twenty-two did the childhood friends forge one of the most successful romantic and political partnerships in American history. Sylvia Jukes Morris's access to previously unpublished letters and diaries brings to full life her portrait of the Roosevelts and their times. During her years as First Lady (1901-09), Edith Kermit Roosevelt dazzled social and political Washington as hostess, confidante, and mother of six, leading her husband to remark, "Mrs. Roosevelt comes a good deal nearer my ideal than I do myself."

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Also, I knew very little about Edith's younger life.
Lois E Marshall
TR was one of the colosal figures of history and THIS Morris offers more than a educational glimpse into their lives and time.
Paul
I didn't know much about her at all but the biography was well written and very informative.
Andromeda

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
Her lifelong romance with Theodore Roosevelt is certainly the stuff that films (or at the very least, TV movies) are made of. She never stopped loving the brilliant, bellicose, captivating, exasperating "boy" she had fallen in love with at a very young age. She helped mold him into a man. How two strong-willed persons of such opposing personalities thrived in such a successful marriage is even more reason why their story in film would be interesting. If Edith, certainly one of the most private historical figures in our country's history, had not the burned thousands of letters from her "Teedie"/Theodore (wishing to keep their lifetime of thoughts and passions to themselves), their romance might be up there with John and Abigail. TR also destroyed most of the letters from "Edie"/Edith because of Edith's constant pleading to him to do so.
What has survived through thousands of letters that friends and relatives did not destory and through Edith's 40+ years of private diaries (left to her daughter Ethel) is a portrait of a iron-willed, intelligent, passionate lady who survived many family crises and lived through enough U.S. political history for a couple of high school textbooks.
She was often the mother AND the father of her large household of children and pets as TR would often leave to go on hunting trips, safaris, and political campaigns. She ran the household in every area mostly because she had to get control of the family finances. (TR almost had to sell Sagamore Hill before he married Edith because he had lost so much of his inheritance in the Badlands. His older sister helped him get through some lean financial years.)
But, she knew that he would always return to her bed and to no one else's.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By MMcGowan on July 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
During a recent visit to Sagamore Hill on Long Island (the home of the Roosevelts), this book caught my eye because it gave a such a different perspective of Roosevelt history. Though I am now only about 3/4 of the way through, I cannot say that I am at all disappointed. It reads like a novel and is extremely well written. I cannot put it down. While it is true that there are other books which better cover the details of TR's colorful political career (Sylvia J. Morris's husband's books accomplish this) and even TR's earlier family history (try "Mornings on Horseback" by David McCullough for this), this book is must for those interested in the story of Edith and her remarkable family. Also, the story does have a great deal of romance and some poignancy -- particularly in the death of TR's first wife, Alice Lee, and his troubled relationship with his daughter, Alice's namesake. I agree with one of the other reviewer's -- Edith's story would make a marvelous motion picture.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Andromeda on November 2, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I agree with the other reviews who say there should be a movie about Edith Roosevelt. I didn't know much about her at all but the biography was well written and very informative. Everything about her would make for a great movie. Edith was an intellegent woman and possibly one of the best first ladies we ever had. She seemed very well organized and very efficient whether she was running her family household or the White House staff. I highly recommend reading this biography.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amanda on November 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
Being an admirer of the Roosevelt family (Theodore and his kin), I was amazed at how I much this biography. The insight into her life, the little they know (from diaries and a few letters she did not burn) is amazing and her love for Theodore (and his love for her) is so incredibly romantic, showing intense it became over the years as opposed to just dying out.

Edith was an amazing woman, probably the epitome of the First Lady, wife, mother and a woman in general. She stood by her husband, helping him along, while still standing for what she believed in and caring for her large family.

It's an excellent read about an excellent woman.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By kimbakar on March 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Read this biography after reading Edmund Morris's trilogy about TR and thoroughly enjoyed learning more about Edith, her family and her relationship with Teddy and the other leading lights of the day. Would have given it 5 stars, but was distracted on nearly every page by horrendous and incomprehensible typos. What does 'begeli' mean?! At 15.99, this was not 'cheap' -- would expect much better quality!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J Wutzke on August 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
I read this biography as a companion to "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" and "Theodore Rex" -- partly because I wanted a different perspective, and partly because I wanted to know what happened to Theodore after 1908 and volume III of his biography isn't likely to be out in the near future. In the end I am glad I read the book, and I learned a great deal more about President Roosevelt and his family -- but I think for the serious or dedicated history buff you must also read the aforementioned books to get a more detailed, nuanced view of the Roosevelts' life and the times in which they lived.
Morris's writing varies markedly from section to section, perhaps due to inconsistent editing rather than her own writing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By BAMMIE on November 5, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Loved this book, read it twice, very intimate, not just a bunch of political facts and dates, you really get to know Edith and the Roosevelts, loved it.
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