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Alice: Alice Roosevelt Longworth, from White House Princess to Washington Power Broker Hardcover – October 18, 2007
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An intimate and revealing portrait of Americas most memorable first daughter
Alice Roosevelt Longworth lived her entire life on the political stage and in the public eye, earning her the nickname the other Washington monument. In this new biographythe first in twenty yearsStacy A. Cordery presents a detailed and richly entertaining portrait of the witty and whip- smart daughter of Teddy Roosevelt.
Princess Alice was a tempestuous teenager. Smoking, gambling, and dressing flamboyantly, she flouted social conventions and opened the door for other women to do the same. Her husband was Speaker of the House Nicholas Longworth butas Cordery documents for the first timeshe had a child with her lover, Senator William Borah of Idaho. Alices political acumen was widely respected in Washington. She was a sharp-tongued critic of her cousin FDRs New Deal programs, and meetings in her drawing room helped to change the course of history, from undermining the League of Nations to boosting Nixon. During the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, her legendary salons were still the center of political ferment.
With new insights into Teddy Roosevelt, and for everyone who delights in Washington history and gossip, Alice is a fascinating portrait of a woman who influenced American politics for nearly a century.
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What is perhaps most fascinating about this well-told tale is the undying animosity [jealousy?] between the two great Roosevelt houses--hers, the Republican Oyster Bay R's [her father Teddy's side of the family] and theirs, the Democratic Hyde Park R's (FDR's branch.] Franklin, whom she had dismissed early on as a light-weight charmer, hitched his wagon to the minority party and, to Alice's ceaseless displeasure, watched him and it become the majority during the Depression. For that, she never forgave the man she once labeled "the feather duster." As she had once opposed another Democrat, Wilson, and his plans for the League of Nation, so, too, did she object to almost everything Franklin and his wife did in his four terms. A non-interventionist if not a genuine isolationist before the Second World War, Alice resisted American's involvement with England. After the war, she opposed the United Nations, and countless social programs whose time had come. For a woman famous for her intelligence and her ability to size up people, a very grande dame if ever there was one, it seems odd indeed that in so a long life she was blind about so many people and things-- in the end, none so glaring as her affection for Richard Nixon.
It's probably an impossible task to succeed in covering in one book, a life that spanned so many years and so many events. The author certainly made a valiant attempt.