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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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