Saturday, March 28, 2009

Current Reading: "Alice"

I'm a big fan of biographies. Before Christmas I bought two about 20th century female phenoms: Gertrude Bell and Alice Roosevelt Longworth. I could hardly wait to dig into "Alice" by Stacy A. Cordery.
Alice's father was Theodore Roosevelt of Rough Riders and Bull Moose Party fame. Her distant cousins were Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt from the disdained and disdainful Democratic branch of the family. Alice's branch were Republicans.
What is so fascinating about this book is being able to witness -- through several insider's eyes -- the behind the scenes machinations of political figures and their romantic dalliances during the early part of the 20th century. There's plenty of booze, sexual shenanigans, political intrigue and familiar names. It gave me a whole new perspective on politics!
P.S. This intimate biography was made possible by the availability of hundreds of personal letters. This fact reminded me that future stories will be harder to tell. Emails get deleted and hardly anyone writes pen-and-paper letters anymore. Too bad.

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