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Alice: Alice Roosevelt Longworth, from White House Princess to Washington Power Broker

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  905 Ratings  ·  156 Reviews
An entertaining and eye-opening biography of America's most memorable first daughter
From the moment Teddy Roosevelt's outrageous and charming teenage daughter strode into the White House?carrying a snake and dangling a cigarette?the outspoken Alice began to put her imprint on the whole of the twentieth-century political scene. Her barbed tongue was as infamous as her scan
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ebook, 608 pages
Published September 30th 2008 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Alice
Apr 10, 2012 Alice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a serious reader of biography, especially of American women. This was the first full-length biography I have read about Alice Longworth, and my appetite for this book was whetted by the many, many anecdotes about her that I have read about in works about her family and other contemporaries. Alice certainly was an interesting character, though not entirely likable character,especially in view of her nearly total lack of formal education. (She was an autodidact and an insatiable reader throug ...more
Jaylia3
Jan 11, 2014 Jaylia3 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can be President of the United States, or I can control Alice. I cannot possibly do both--Teddy Roosevelt.

Alice Roosevelt Longworth (1884 1981), eldest child of President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, was known throughout her long life for her wide-ranging intelligence, piercing insights, love of mischief, fascination with politics, passionate loyalty, and sharp cutting wit, all of which is well captured in this entertaining biography, as interesting for its history as it is for its personalitie
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Dana Stabenow
Mar 22, 2010 Dana Stabenow rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm about 130 pages in, and I've come to two conclusions:

1. Stacy Cordery is a very good writer, and I'm looking forward to reading others of her books.

2. Either Alice Roosevelt was one of the most irritating adolescents who ever lived or Cordery was seduced by so much extant source material. If I have to read another diary entry gushing over some guy (whose name changed daily) I will vomit.

Alice is now about to get married and I'm hoping it will mature her a little, but at this point I'm so ann
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Sue
Jan 11, 2009 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
This book is filled with more about Alice's political life than any other bio of her I've read, but the author seems to have lost interest with Alice's story after Nick Longworth's death. The author is very vague on Alice's relationship with her granddaughter -- there is a deeper story there that should be explored -- and not a single mention that Jimmy Carter was the first/only president since McKinley to her death in 1980 who did not welcome her to the White House, again something to explore. ...more
Dayla
While I enjoyed reading this book--finishing with a much greater understanding of Alice Roosevelt, I did at the same time come to loathe her sarcasm, and then eventually Alice herself. Anyone can be cruel or a bully, and Alice was certainly that. I found myself initially cheering her once progressive opinions, but as time passed, the same opinions grew into a selfish selective division apart from others. Alice also had an unwillingness to re-examine her beliefs or her motivations that lead her t ...more
Jeff
I’ve been fascinated by Theodore Roosevelt’s flamboyant eldest daughter since my high school days and was delighted by this study of how, over the course of her very long life, she constantly reinvented herself — from teenaged White House rebel to behind-the-scenes political operator to finish at last as ‘Washington’s other Monument’. She was a brilliant wit and a champion hater specializing in (as she herself put it) “detached malevolence”, with a particular talent for making her Democrat Roose ...more
John
Mar 25, 2008 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Long referred to as “the other Washington Monument” Alice Roosevelt Longworth, the eldest daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, was a powerful political force and icon of the 20th century, When Alice was born on February 12, 1884 in the family home, Teddy Roosevelt was then a recently elected New York Assemblyman. Tragically, two days after her birth TR’s wife and his mother died in the same house.

Roosevelt had assumed the Presidency after the assassination of William McKinley in 1901 and f
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Beth
Aug 16, 2011 Beth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biography
At first, I was really enjoying this biography of Alice Roosevelt Longworth. She was the daughter of Theodore Roosevelt and cousin to both Franklin Delano and Eleanor Roosevelt. In her teenaged and early adult years, nicknamed "Princess Alice" by the press, she was an interesting iconoclast who made her own rules and set trends. But by the 1910s, she morphs into a dreadful hate-monger, and she only gets worse. She played a rather key role in keeping the U.S. out of the League of Nations, mostly ...more
Ashley
Jan 03, 2015 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before reading this book I knew very little about Alice Roosevelt. I found that she was an amazing woman who led an amazing life. Alice could be charming, loved to entertain, and loved being center of attention ingeneral. The not so admirable traits of Alice, especially in her childhood, was a spoiled brat who whined when it wasn't her way, signing her diary, "No hope for Alice." She could also be just plain out rude. I get the impression though, that those who were lucky enough to call her frie ...more
Carolann
May 04, 2012 Carolann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


I really enjoyed this book.

For all the talk of her Theodore Roosevelt and how important he was in her life. It does not delve deeply into his death at all.

I was surprised because he was such a major part of her story.
I think there was maybe one or two sentences devoted to his dying.

It would have been interesting to know more about what it did to her.

It goes more in depth when talking about the deaths of the other men in her life. Which I found odd.

This is a book I would buy for my bookshelves.
Rory
Feb 07, 2008 Rory rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs-and-bios
Maybe I would have given this book another star (at least one of those 1/2 stars we're always wishing GoodReads would induct) if Alice Roosevelt Longworth hadn't made me feel bad about myself. I'm SORRY, Alice, if I can't be as magnificent as you--Gibson girl, world traveler, political persuader, salon mistress, power magnet. Hmph.
Susan Albert
Sep 19, 2014 Susan Albert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Intriguing woman who danced to her own drum. Her story makes more sense to me after watching Ken Burns' film on the Roosevelts--I could see her in the context of the two Roosevelt tribes (Oyster Bay and Hyde Park).
Lynn Rvh
I agree with other reviewers that, while this is a thoroughly researched biography, it needed better editing and tightening up. I enjoyed the pithy quotes from the subject and wish the author had provided many more instead of simply repeating how "smart" and pithy Alice's comments were at her many soirées, events and dinner parties.
Alice and the biographer both describe the subject as "shy," when in fact what she actually feared (based on this book's coverage) was speaking in public. I would de
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Kristen Kief
Nov 27, 2016 Kristen Kief rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I saw someone on TV talk about how crazy and wild Alice Roosevelt was, so I got this book. She definitely didn't follow all the expected rules of her day and age, but she was in no way wild or crazy. I was so bored with the dry writing and the subject matter that I gave up about 20% into the book.
Heather
Jan 07, 2017 Heather rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Unlike, some of the other biographies I've read, this one never quite manages to feel like a story. It started off well enough, but it quickly becomes bogged down in details and tangents and repetitions.

It could have benefited from more serious editing.
Christina Mitchell
I gravitate to any strong woman (I am unapologetically a feminist). However, give me a strong woman who is also a smart-ass and you have alighted in me pure hero worship for her. Alice Roosevelt Longworth would never have classified herself as a feminist. She honestly disavowed any formal identity whatsoever besides as a member of the Republican/Bull Moose party of her father. Yet, Gloria Steinem was one of her admitted heroines (Cordery, 2007, p. 463). Her lack of identification was fully expla ...more
Jean Perry
Nov 02, 2013 Jean Perry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finally finished the Alice Roosevelt Longworth bio. It took me quite a long time, (500 pgs) but it was very interesting.

Two passages i posted in a women's issues discussion on SeniorLearn book discussions and thought i would share here.

One is about TR at Harvard. His ungraduate thesis was - are you ready for this - "The Practicality of Equalizing Men and Women Before the Law"!!! " It considered the topic of women's rights, including property ownership, and argued that women ought to keep thei
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Rob
Dec 27, 2016 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A facinating look into a complicated political person. Helps you understand the history of Republicanism among other people and things.
Katherine
I wouldn't recommend this book unless you:

a) are really into Alice Roosevelt

b) are interested in the details of high society life at the turn of the 20th century

c) like biographies.

I was curious about Teddy Roosevelt's daughter, and luckily my curiosity sustained me through this long book. Alice really led a fascinating life, and I agree with her bits of wisdom such as: "Having a baby is like trying to push a grand piano through a transom." I also learned that her husband, Speaker Longworth, com
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Marian
To review an autobiography can feel like two things. A review of the author and a review of the subject.

The author in this case is inconsistent as a storyteller and solid as a writer. She devotes ten pages to the end of Alice's life and seemingly 10,000 to the start (but not the end) of her romance with Bill Borah. Alice's life deserved a better pace and a much more solid analysis of her relationship with Paulina, her barely mentioned daughter, and Joanna, her highly important granddaughter. If
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Lee Anne
Teddy Roosevelt's daughter Alice was a character. Rebellious in spirit, outspoken, and a strong woman in a world filled with strong men.

Stacy Cordery's biography of this most famous of first daughters sadly pales in comparison to the picture book What to Do about Alice?: How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy!. Cordery's gossipy tone and armchair analysis (there are too many variations of "perhaps Alice was thinking..." or "this must have been t
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Jeanette
Before coming across this biography about Alice Roosevelt Longworth, I knew very little about this woman who was once a major American icon and known around the world as Princess Alice. I knew she was Theodore Roosevelt's daughter, that her mother had died shortly after giving birth to her and that she married a congressman from Cincinnati in a fancy White House wedding but that was about as far as my knowledge went. It turns out there was a lot to learn.

Details, details, details! This book was
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Pooch
May 07, 2008 Pooch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
p. 3 "Victorian morality was synonymous with honorable men, demure women, and docile children."

P. 4 "...charities like Mrs. Slattery's Night School for Little Italians."

p. 5 Diary entry by TR after death of his father, "...Christianity gave us, on earth, rest in trouble, not from trouble."

p. 418 "People forget that such wit is possible only when upheld by a broad intellect, insider status, and years of political and legislative expertise."

"On the whole, he acted like two idiots."

This supremely r
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Agatha
Mar 11, 2013 Agatha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A weighty tome about the eldest daughter of Teddy Roosevelt. She actually was his daughter by his first wife, who died shortly after childbirth. The rest of his 4 other children (3 boys and a girl) were from his 2nd wife, Edith. Edith was loving and maternal towards Alice but definitely within the Edwardian parenting style of the time: a bit more arms-length. Moreover, before TR married Edith, Alice lived the first 3 years of her life with TR's sister, Anna, known to the family as "Auntie Bye," ...more
Lauriann
Jul 16, 2014 Lauriann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a colorful character! Alice Roosevelt Longworth, first daughter of Teddy Roosevelt was born a day or two before her own mother's and grandmother's deaths. Neglected by a grief-sticken father, she was raised in her early years by her beloved Auntie Bye. When returned to her father, she struggled to find what her placement was in a family that came to include a stepmother and step-siblings. What emerged was a fiery, outspoken, spontaneous and at times outrageous young woman who captured the a ...more
Megan
Apr 03, 2012 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alice was an interesting character who led a fascinating life. A long, public life through the 20th Century made for a great read in which politics and history combined with the personal and human. This book was a good source of information about culture and history, particularly in Washington, DC, and it was also an engrossing source for Cincinnati and Ohio political history, as Alice married into the Longworth family. Besides being the daughter of a President, she was also wife of a Speaker of ...more
Kennedy
"If you haven't got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me."
-Alice Roosevelt Longworth

This is all I knew about Alice Roosevelt Longworth before I read Alice. Based off that quote, I thought I'd love Alice (the person).

Alice is a New York Times notable book. Alice Roosevelt was one of the first big celebrites in America. The media followed her as much as her father, Theodore Roosevelt. This biography follows her entire life. It also talked a lot about her family.

I really enjoyed
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Erin
Jul 12, 2011 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The complexity of Alice's life, her personal struggles and the political events of the time are excellently depicted. This book captures the nuances of the political issues of the day without getting bogged down. Key perspectives and policies are described in a way that provides the reader with a fair perspective without getting overwhelmed with rhetoric. The author clearly demonstrates their expanse knowledge of this era by the ease with which they write ...more
Laura
Jul 09, 2012 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: life-story, biography
I read Alice: Alice Roosevelt Longworth, from White House Princess to Washington Power Broker. I don't think it was very well done. There was a lot of time spent on Alice's adolescence and her angst about being so well known, but not being as rich as her friends or not getting the boy she wanted or her parents being disappointed in her (which is typical for teens), but very little about why she was a Washington Power House. The last 40 years of her life were covered in 100 pages, whereas the fir ...more
Rj
Jan 27, 2015 Rj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The past couple of nights I have been sinking into Stacy A. Cordery's biography of Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Alice: Alice Roosevelt Longworth, From White House Princess to Washington Power Broker (New York: Viking, 2007). The book is a fascinating study of Longworth, her life and the times she lived in. Longworth has long been someone of interest to me, her feisty and combative approach to life has always intrigued me. As a young impressionable 16 year old I meet a man at one of David's parties ...more
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