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The Roosevelt Women: A Portrait In Five Generations Paperback – December 15, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0465071340 ISBN-10: 0465071341 Edition: New Ed

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; New Ed edition (December 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465071341
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465071340
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Formerly a professor of women’s history at City University of New York, Betty Boyd Caroli is the author of First Ladies, America’s First Ladies and Inside the White House. She has appeared on national television and radio programs, including Today, PBS’s Newshour, and CNN’s Talk Back. Caroli lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

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Mittie is often an overlooked figure and this book brings out who she was and why.
Coppertop
They were wives, mothers, grandmother, help-mates for their husbands as well as leading their own lives, in some instances.
Margaret Hauber
It should be on the reading list of every college student doing Women's Studies, as well as regular history courses.
Barbara L. Dean

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia K. Robertson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 3, 2005
In The Roosevelt Women by Betty Boyd Caroli, the author gives us a fascinating look at the Roosevelt women from primarily the Oyster Bay branch of this venerable family. Most of us have a general knowledge of presidents Theodore Roosevelt (TR) and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR). We also have some idea of the contributions of Eleanor Roosevelt to the world stage. The story of Eleanor Roosevelt and her female kin (grandmother, aunts and cousins) is in some respects even more remarkable than that of the Roosevelt men.

The book starts with Martha "Mittie" Bulloch Roosevelt, TR's mother. This beautiful Southern Belle married the senior Theodore Roosevelt. While often times spoiled, fragile and frivolous, she was also a caring mother and patient teacher to her children. According to Caroli, she withdrew from "family competition" in order that her plain daughters would "feel superior to her, to develop both wit and charm sufficient to outshine her inordinately good looks." Though she never lived to see her four granddaughters, they all credited her for her contributions to the Roosevelt family.

Mittie's daughters, Anna Roosevelt Cowles and Corinne Roosevelt Robinson, provide the most engrossing characters in The Roosevelt Women. While not well schooled, they were both bright, articulate and politically astute women. They surrounded themselves with powerful, witty and intelligent men and their houses were the center of lively and sparkling conversation. In later life, Corinne became a published poet and a public speaker. While these sisters were trailblazers in many ways, they were content to stay in the shadow of their more famous brother, TR, and never flaunted their relationship with him. Yet, they did everything in their power to help TR reach his political goals.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Coppertop on August 25, 2007
This is a simply wonderful book for what it tells us both about the women of the Roosevelt clan and the men. Caroli's story lends great insight to both Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt and the relationship between the two.

The book is set up as a series of smaller books, each one on a particular Roosevelt woman. The great thing is how Caroli connects these women to each other and to the politics of the time. It is interesting to see how different these women were as well as similar. For many of them, their most important relationships with men (outside their brothers/fathers) were not their husbands. Bamie, Corinne and Alice's husbands all take a backseat to other men - often the political magnets of the day. Not that scandal haunted any of these women (except Alice, who courted it). There were some genuine love matches - Edith and Theodore really had a strong, passionate marriage.

Caroli begins with Theodore Roosevelt's mother, Mittie. Mittie is often an overlooked figure and this book brings out who she was and why. It also gives great insight to the childhood of TR and how the Civil War affected him quite differently than you'd expect. Mittie's sister, Anna Gracie, is also a huge force in the life of the young Roosevelts and we see this chapter.

Then Caroli covers TR's sisters: Bamie Roosevelt Cowles and Corrine Roosevelt Robinson. Both these women played down their role in their brother's political life, but this book shows how involved they actually were. Both these women contributed greatly to the political future of the US. These women were also the models for the next generation and where they went for advice and help.

The fourth "book" talks about Edith Roosevelt (TR's wife) and Sara Delano Roosevelt (Franklin's mother).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Barbara L. Dean on August 25, 2000
This book is so good, I can't put it down. It should be on the reading list of every college student doing Women's Studies, as well as regular history courses. Thanks to Book Notes for interviewing this author on C-span, I can continue my education with these wonderfully insightful books.
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