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Description - The Roosevelt Women by Betty Boyd Caroli

The Roosevelt name conjures up images of powerful Presidents and dashing men of high society. But few people know much about the extraordinary network of women that held the Roosevelt clan together through war, scandal, and disease. In The Roosevelt Women , Betty Boyd Caroli weaves together stories culled from a rich store of letters, memoirs, and interviews to chronicle nine extraordinary Roosevelt women across a century and a half of turbulent history.She examines the Roosevelt women as mothers, daughters, wives, and, beyond that, as world travellers, authors, campaigners, and socialites,in short, as themselves. She reveals how they demonstrated the energy and intellectual curiosity that defined their famous family, as well as the roles they played in the intrigues, scandals, and accomplishments that were hallmarks of the Roosevelt clan. From the much maligned Sara Delano (who sired Franklin and by turns terrified and supported Eleanor) to Theodore's irrepressible daughter, Alice ("I can either rule the country or control Alice," Teddy once said) to the beloved Bamie, who was the only mother Alice ever knew, and the model of everything she never was in life, to the exceptionally beautiful but ultimately overwhelmed Mittie, Theodore's mother, The Roosevelt Women is an intricate portrait of bold and talented women, a grand tale of both unbearable tragedies and triumphant achievements.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780465071340
ISBN-10: 0465071341
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 34mm)
Pages: 528
Imprint: Basic Books
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 24-Nov-1999
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions - The Roosevelt Women by Betty Boyd Caroli

Book Reviews - The Roosevelt Women by Betty Boyd Caroli

UK Kirkus Review » The name of Roosevelt is synonymous with that of two US presidents, distinguished men from a family with a long political pedigree. Yet behind these prominent figures stood a legion of women no less remarkable: their achievements (with the exception of Eleanor Roosevelt) lying largely unrecorded outside their immediate circle. Realizing that the stories of these women's lives - which span well over a century - would provide a fascinating document - Caroli has unearthed a wealth of material that casts a fresh perspective on the entire family. All her subjects are women characterized by what she terms their 'high energy and intellectual curiosity': from the indefatigable Barnie, admiringly described as Presidential material, to the irrespressible Alice, Caroli explores the remarkably varied lives of nine members of the Roosevelt family. The sheer quantity of information on offer is staggering and occasionally the narrative focus blurs with the glut of individuals peppering the pages. Her chronicle begins with a profile of Martha, 'Mittie' Bulloch (1835-1884), a Southern belle who found herself starting married life far from home in New York, just a matter of years before the start of the Civil War. Charming and gracious, the beautiful Mittie was mother to Theodore, the Roosevelt's first President and Anna, nicknamed 'Barnie', who became an anchor for the family in their frequent times of domestic difficulty. Moving towards the 20th century Caroli turns her attention to the better known Eleanor, consort to Franklin Roosevelt and champion of human rights, concluding with a study of Alice, Barnie's exuberant protege and White House guest for over 60 years. Drawing on a wide array of unpublished family memoirs and letters Caroli has constructed a compelling, highly detailed portrait of a multifaceted group of extraordinary women. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » It was ideas and ideals that drove the Roosevelt women, particularly those influenced by the genes of Georgia belle Mittie Bulloch, says the author in this curiously engrossing overview of the Roosevelt XX-factor. As she researched an earlier book, First Ladies (not reviewed), historian Caroli was intrigued by the question of who provided Eleanor Roosevelt with models. Her mentor at an English boarding school is often given the credit, but Eleanor spent only three years at Allenswood, a brief respite in a life racked by early tragedy (the death of brother, mother, and father) and later turmoil (within a five-year span, the birth of her sixth child, discovery of her husband's well-established affair with Lucy Mercer, and Franklin's attack of polio). Caroli believes it was the influence of her aunts, cousins, and even her maligned mother-in-law, Sara, that set Eleanor on the path to becoming "First Lady of the World." A chapter each is devoted to the primary exemplars, beginning with the matriarch, Martha (Mittie) Bulloch, who married a Theodore Roosevelt and moved to New York City not long before the Civil War, knowing she would face prejudice and misunderstanding because her family owned slaves. She toughed it out, giving birth to four children, including the future president Theodore and Eleanor's father, Elliott. Mittie's daughters Anna, known for her warmth, wit, and political acumen, and Corinne, also politically astute and in later life a sought-after public speaker, each receive a chapter, as do Eleanor and cousins Corinne Alsop, Ethel Derby, and Alice Longworth, Teddy's tart-tongued daughter. Sara(Franklin's mother) and Edith (Teddy's second wife), although Roosevelts only by marriage, share a chapter where the author tries to correct Sara's image as dominating and manipulative, and Edith's as the perfect wife and mother. Great fun for Roosevelt buffs; filling in some gaps for those still unable to reconcile how the awkward, uncertain Eleanor became an international icon. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Betty Boyd Caroli

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.

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