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An American Saga

The Roosevelts is a brilliant and controversial account of twentieth-century American political culture as seen through the lens of its preeminent political dynasty. Peter Collier shows how Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, along with their descendants, scrambled to define the direction that American politics would take. The Oyster Bay clan, influenced by the flamboyant Teddy, was extroverted, eccentric, tradition-bound, and family-oriented. They represented an age of American innocence that would be replaced by Franklin's Hyde Park Roosevelts, who were aloof and cold yet individualistic and progressive.
Drawing on extensive interviews and brimming with trenchant anecdotes, this historical portrait casts new light on the pivotal events and personalities that shaped the Roosevelt legacy -- from Eleanor's often brutal relationship with her children and Theodore Jr.'s undoing in the 1924 New York gubernatorial race, to the heroism of Teddy's sons during both World Wars and FDR's loveless marriage.
The Roosevelts is history at its most penetrating, a crucial work that illuminates the foundations of contemporary, American politics.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 544 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780684801407 | 
  • June 1995
List Price $18.99
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

A remarkable photograph in the Theodore Roosevelt collection at Harvard's Houghton Library shows Abraham Lincoln's funeral procession passing through New York on the way to the train that would complete the long journey home to Illinois. The shot, taken as the procession moved through the Union Square area, captures both the formal solemnity of the occasion and the life of the street. The caisson carrying the coffin has not yet come into view, but an honor guard of infantry in blocky formation follows a straggling line of riders up ahead. People dressed in black line both sides of the street four or five deep. A few of the... see more

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