Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $4.97 shipping
+ $5.99 shipping
The Wars of the Roosevelts: The Ruthless Rise of America's Greatest Political Family Hardcover – December 6, 2016
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
From the Back Cover
Drawing on previously hidden historical documents and interviews with the long-silent “illegitimate” branch of the family, award-winning author William J. Mann paints an elegant, meticulously researched, and groundbreaking group portrait of this legendary family. Mann deftly argues that the Roosevelts’ rise to power and prestige was actually driven by a series of intense personal contests that at times devolved into blood sport. His compelling and eye-opening masterwork is the story of a family at war with itself—and of social Darwinism at its most ruthless, in which the strong devoured the weak and repudiated the inconvenient.
Central to The Wars of the Roosevelts is a fascinating alternate picture of Eleanor Roosevelt, who, Mann argues, experienced this brutality firsthand, witnessing her uncle Theodore cruelly destroy her father, Elliott—Theodore’s brother and bitter rival—for political expediency. This “worshipful niece,” Mann contends, in fact bore a grudge against TR for the rest of her life. In addition, Eleanor’s intimate relationships with both men and women are handled here with a sensibility grounded in twenty-first-century awareness, without any obfuscations, explanations, or labels. From this deeply affecting family portrait, a new understanding of Eleanor, as well as of her relationship with Franklin, emerges.
Mann also brilliantly brings into focus Eleanor’s cousins, TR’s children—Alice, Ted, and Kermit—whose stories propelled the family rivalry (especially once Franklin became president) but have never before been fully chronicled. We also learn for the first time the story of Eleanor’s illegitimate half-brother, Elliott Roosevelt Mann, who inherited his family’s ambition and skills without their name and privilege, and whom TR did his best to exile.
Illustrated with never-before-seen photographs from Elliott’s archives, The Wars of the Roosevelts is a deeply psychological and finely rendered history, illuminating not only the enviable strengths but also the profound shame of this remarkable and influential family.
About the Author
William J. Mann is the New York Times bestselling author of Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn; How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood; Hello, Gorgeous: Becoming Barbra Streisand; and Wisecracker: The Life and Times of William Haines, winner of the Lambda Literary Award. He divides his time between Connecticut and Cape Cod.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Even though Mr. Mann obviously has great affection for the family members, especially Eleanor, he has a light touch and leaves the reader to make up his or her own mind. Also, he does not hesitate to draw attention to character flaws in the family members including the saintly Eleanor who President Truman correctly described as the First Lady of the World. Another achievement is that Mr. Mann provides sufficient details about the lesser members of the family so that they emerge as distinct characters and escape from the giant shadow cast by the three most eminent family members.
Thus the black sheep of the family including Theodore’s brother Elliott, Taddy (FDR’s nephew), Hall (Eleanor’s brother) and Kermit (Theodore’s son) all receive due attention. The venomous and malicious character and conduct of Theodore’s daughter, Alice Longworth Roosevelt (“Princess Alice”), are well described and we learn (in my case for the first time) the poignant story of the family outcast, Elliott Roosevelt Mann. He was Eleanor’s half-brother whom she could never bring herself to meet because of the stain attached to his illegitimate birth. Theodore’s eldest son Ted is sympathetically portrayed as a true war hero. His tragedy was that he could never live up to his extraordinary father’s expectations. The imperious and dominating character of FDR's mother, Sara Delano Roosevelt, is well described as is the somewhat distant and aloof character of Edith Roosevelt, Theodore's beloved wife.
I have not enjoyed a book so much in a long time. I highly recommend this book to any reader interested in American history and particularly to those who have a special interest in this extraordinary American family.