American Princess by Stephanie Thornton

Stephanie Thornton is a writer and history teacher who has been obsessed with forgotten women from history since she was twelve. She lives with her husband and daughter in Alaska.

“Merry H*ll!” What a character Alice Roosevelt turned out to be! The bold, brash, beautiful eldest daughter of Theodore and Alice Lee Roosevelt said this about herself at 86 years old,”I miss the hedonistic hellion who smoked foul-smelling cigarettes on the roof of the White House, feted mustachioed German princes and an iron-fisted Chinese empress, and inspired the rage for the color Alice Blue in the spring of 1902!”

From Washington D.C. and the White House to jaunts in the Far East to the Adirondack Mountains and Sagamore Hill, this reader thoroughly enjoyed the wild, emotional ride through the whole 96 years of Alice’s personal and political life. Stephanie Thornton, author & history teacher, takes the reader inside the workings of political campaigns, the elation and celebrations of victorious elections, and then those that ended in “agony and defeat.” The love/hate relationship that Alice endures with Nick Longworth and the gut wrenching empathy that is evoked from her desperate pleas for the love and attention of Theodore Roosevelt, left this reader needing an emotional break-but for just a quick breather, and then to return to the global impact of WW l, the fight for the League of Nations, the Depression, and many more presidential elections. Alice eventually authors her memoirs and a syndicated column for newspapers; including her views on the rise of Hitler, Edward Vlll’s abdication in Britain, and Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal-“hitting them between the eyes just as her father had.”

Such a long life -in Alice’s later years she chats with Eleanor about the United Nations and even presidential hopefuls Nixon and John F. Kennedy- who she says no one had ever heard of!

American Princess-“Daughter of one of America’s most beloved presidents, cousin and antagonist to another, wife of the most debonair Speaker of the House, mistress to the most famous senator of the century, mother and grandmother…. the other Washington Monument.”

Lovers of American history will relish these Theodore Roosevelt quotes: “When you’re at the end of of your rope, Sissy, tie a knot and hang on.” “Soldier on with a stiff upper lip.” And, one of Alice’s favorite’s from her cousin, Eleanor, “A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water. ”

Alice, the avid reader, reflects on how Voltaire had once mused “that life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” Alice Roosevelt Longworth did endure many “shipwrecks” in her life, but then she did always remember “to sing in the lifeboat.”

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