Cousins Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Roosevelt Longworth liked to play up their oil-and-water relationship.
“When I think of Frank and Eleanor in the White House I could grind my teeth to powder and blow them out my nose,” Alice once said. In the 1930s they even wrote opposing syndicated newspaper columns and embarked on competing nationwide speaking tours. Blood may be thicker than water, but when the family business is politics, winning trumps everything.
Vivid, intimate, and stylishly written, Hissing Cousins finally sets this relationship center stage, revealing the contentious bond between two political trailblazers who short-circuited the rules of gender and power, each in her own way.
RIFer Lisa has this Reader Spotlight review:
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“‘Alice collected vices: smoking, gambling, gossiping, sleeping past noon: she was like a Girl Scout in reverse, gathering demerit badges.’
A wonderful read and a very interesting look inside the Hyde Park and Oyster Bay Roosevelt families, represented by Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice (Princess Alice) Roosevelt Longworth. They were two of America’s most famous and politically astute women, also known as Mrs. Democrat and Mrs. Republican.
Eleanor is the better remembered of the two for all her humanitarian work, My Day columns, speaking ability, and ‘everyman’ touch. Alice not so much. She whispered in the background, displayed her cutting wit and sometimes cruel opinions at Washington dinners.
When her father, Theodore, was running for a third term with the Bull Moose party, Alice was quite okay with that but when her cousin FDR did, she compared him to Hitler, Mussolini, and King George. On her death certificate for occupation is the word ‘gadfly.’ Ouch!”
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