ALICE: The Life and Times of Alice Roosevelt Longworth by Howard Teichmann

ALICE: The Life and Times of Alice Roosevelt Longworth

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Everyone from Nan Britton (President Harding's mistress) to Julie Nixon Eisenhower has written about Alice, and all we have here are snatches from those earlier books and articles. Howard Teichmann--biographer of George S. Kaufman, and co-author with him of The Solid Gold Cadillac--did not interview Alice herself, so that his r‚sum‚ of her 95 years (life with father, marriage to Nicholas Longworth, relations with Eleanor and Franklin), along with a liberal sprinkling of her one-liners, has a stale, third-person quality. ""Now it is midnight! But Cinderella does not race for home,"" Teichmann begins, describing Alice's White House debutante party. There follows a capsule history of the United States--elections, League of Nations battle (Alice was opposed), first families, Sixties mores, Watergate--with Alice's comments thrown in. But we seldom get beyond the glibness; even physical descriptions are brief and confusing (she had ""remarkably gray-blue eyes"" we are told, only to learn that her ""radiant blue"" eyes inspired ""Alice blue"" gowns). Teichmann returns to ""Cinderella"" for the ending: most of her family is now gone--including ""her father, the King"" and ""Prince Charming"" (Longworth)--""the glass slipper too is forgotten,"" etc. How Alice--the one who dubbed Dewey ""a bridegroom on a wedding cake""--could chew up corn like this!

Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 1979
Publisher: Prentice-Hall