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American Lady: The Life of Susan Mary Alsop MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged

3.5 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Susan Mary Alsop's life was like that of a novel, one that Caroline de Margerie tells with brilliance." ---Le Figaro Littéraire (France)

About the Author

Caroline de Margerie has worked as a diplomat and is now a member of the Conseil d'État, the highest administrative court in France.

Laural Merlington has recorded well over one hundred audiobooks and has received several AudioFile Earphones Awards, including one for Never Say Die by Susan Jacoby.
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Product Details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio; MP3 - Unabridged CD edition (November 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452660395
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452660394
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,085,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jesse Kornbluth on November 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Susan Mary Alsop (1918-2004) was a society beauty who morphed into a great saloniste and hostess, but the best reason I found to read this 193-page biography is that it chronicles a low-battery marriage, a torrid romance with a married womanizer and, after the deaths of her husband and lover, a second marriage to a gay man she never slept with.

In short, "American Lady: The Life of Susan Mary Alsop" is a tale of life in the Upper Class before women threw off the shackles.

She knew everyone. She had tea with Edith Wharton. Her frequent dinner partner was Winston Churchill ("He has decided I am . . . French . . . and nothing will deter him from speaking French to me."). The gratin of Paris, Noel Coward, the Duke of Windsor. In Washington, John Kennedy came to her house after the Inaugural parties for a midnight bowl of turtle soup. Lyndon Johnson "pinched her behind and exclaimed, `Why does such a thin girl wear a garter belt?'"

She was, in a word, the best --- and last --- of her breed. And she knew it. "All these stories will be in the history books," she wrote, "but it does send a chill down one's spine to hear them told by the actors in the drama."

So come for a peek behind the curtain of International Society. But stay for the sex. And then the cost of sex in Susan Mary's world: no shame, but great secrecy. And hypocrisy. And the kind of deprivation caused by the absence of flesh on flash. And, finally, the reckoning.

This is surely not the book that Caroline de Margerie, a family friend, believes she has written. As she tells it, this is the story of a prominent young woman --- a descendant of founding father John Jay --- who was born in a time of low vocational and high social expectations for upper crust women.
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Format: Hardcover
This book chronicles the life and times of Susan Mary Alsop. A society beauty with elegance and grace, she was well born to American nobility as she was directly descended from founding father John Jay. From an early age Susan Mary would experience life with a world view. Her father was stationed in foreign locales while serving in the diplomatic service. When stationed in South America her oldest and only sister who was seven years her senior died after appendicitis surgery. Thus began a confusing period of her young life as her parents sunk into a prolonged period of grief where they ignored their now only living child. Like most children of wealth, Susan Mary was raised in a world of nannies, private schools, holidays in Bar Harbor, and the general flurry of parties and social engagements. There would be no college. Presumably, in her social stratus, young women were raised to be social creatures and marry well.
A chance meeting through a friend brought William Patten into her life. Harvard educated, Patten was asthmatic and sickly and a decade older than Susan Mary. While socially placed, Patten ideally should have been looking for an heiress to fund a grand lifestyle because he was not robust enough to make his own fortune. Knowing this, Susan Mary decided to throw caution to the wind. If Bill Patten wanted her, she'd have him. There was no great passion in their relationship but theirs was a strong friendship and a love of sorts.
Patten went on to be a diplomat stationed in Paris. Susan Mary went on to learn French, socialize with important political and society figures, and become a hostess known for her unerring style and grace. The Patten marriage had endured for several years and was childless despite a miscarriage.
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Format: Hardcover
I was always interested in reading about the life of Susan Mary Alsop, and this incredible book delivers a Brilliant and fascinating portrait of an American aristocrat, who I always compared to Jackie Kennedy, and both women marked their place in history. Caroline de Margerie and Frances Fitzgerald chronicle an elegant and compelling story that is not only exquisite and powerfully moving, but reads like an historical epic. The authors present an entertaining, informative history of postwar Europe and America as they portray a dynamic woman, who sparked an amazing life through power and politics. "American Lady" is not only about the life of Susan Mary Alsop, but also about the era in which it all began, society, socialism and love affairs. In addition, the reader is taken behind the scenes as we witness how this aristocrat became the second lady of Camelot, why her home was the 'gathering place' for JFK and others, and what politics meant in her living room as well as The White House. We learn about the important events that took place in 1918-2004, the significance of this woman bringing together those who helped to shape the U.S., and the benefits achieved as she hosted dinners for FDR and others. Her notable reputation became widespread as she reigned over Georgetown four decades, married Bill Pattern,her life with Joe Alsop, and her political and social influence in an age of elegance. Susan Mary Alsop survived in the same manner that Jackie Kennedy did, with wisdom, wits, and intelligence. The authors created a historical Masterpiece that inspires throughout with extensive research. This engrossing and engaging book captures your attention in the beginning. Enjoyable, educational, and Highly Recommended!
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