THE FABRIC OF MEMORY by Eleanor Robson Belmont

THE FABRIC OF MEMORY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A distinguished autobiography of one of the world's great ladies, this spans seventy years of rapid change, years in which Eleanor Robson Belmont kept in rhythm with the times. How many are there now who could recall the place she made for herself on the stage that was her natural heritage? She could have gone on to be one of the greatest of stars. She chose instead marriage to August Belmont, learned a new role, identifying herself with the multiplicity of his interests, in the world of sport, philanthropy in its most constructive sense, finance, politics, and always a vision of the world of the future. With the war, she found still another role, as she took a leading part in Red Cross organizational and fund raising, in using her gifts to those ends. The role of women, their forgotten place and need in the depression, the crying necessity for a broader based security- this led to insistence that Franklin Roosevelt come to grips with a national plan for social security. The world of the arts -- theatre and opera specifically claimed her interest, her aid, and she was instrumental in the formation of the Opera Guild without which the Metropolitan might well have perished. These have been the highlights of her contribution, but her story is told against a tapestry of great wealth, wisely used, a way of life that is no more. Unlike The Glitter and the Gold, this book fails to capitalize on these aspects, and even the succession of important names in the social world, the world of the turf, the world of the arts, is played down. The greatness of the woman herself comes through, but she does it through recording what she accomplished, rather than revealing the magnetism, the understanding, the vision through which she reached her goals. The depths are there for the reader to find; the glamor is lacking which might have meant wider general sales. This is for the carriage trade.

Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy