The Roosevelts: An American SagaBy Peter Collier
- Author: Peter Collier
The story of the Roosevelts is usually seen as a tale of two presidents - Theodore and Franklin - who were distant cousins from distinct worlds, separated by time and politics. And of two families - the Oyster Bay and Hyde Park branches - that had little to do with each other. Now comes an explosive new portrait, The Roosevelts: An American Saga, which offers a completely unique view of America's longest lasting and most powerful dynasty. The Roosevelts were one family, an exclusive elite who began their history intimately related by bonds of love and ambition. In this brilliant biography, we see for the first time how the family divided into two branches and began an epic battle for the family legacy. We see for the first time how the ideals of two presidents were passed on to members of later generations, ennobling some and crushing others. The Roosevelts is a rare look at what brought this exceptional group of people together and what drove them apart. In this riveting book we see Teddy, the flamboyant politician and Rough Rider, who was also a "Papa Bear", passing on an ethos of sacrifice and achievement to his "cubs". There is Theodore Jr., the "crown prince", handpicked by his father to carry on the traditions of Oyster Bay but unable to complete the mission. And Alice, Teddy's acid-tongued and fiercely loyal daughter, whose antics became the talk of Washington and who finally became a caricature, raving against her cousin's New Deal and trying desperately to preserve her father's legacy. There's also Eleanor, daughter of Teddy's tragic brother, Elliott, who translated the unhappiness of her marriage to FDR into political activism, eventually becoming First Lady of the World. Andfinally there is Franklin, always underestimated by Teddy's family, who made an alliance with Eleanor to become the nemesis of the Oyster Bay Roosevelts and, in the web of ironies that bind this family together, a truer heir to Teddy than any of his own children. Filled with drama and anecdote, presenting familiar characters in a penetrating new light, The Roosevelts is a soaring tale of triumph over heartbreak and frailty. But it is also a daunting story of the vanity of human wishes.