Reading Recommendations: Alice, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, from White House Princess to Washington Power Broker, Stacy A. Cordery
At the dawn of the twentieth century and the age of media celebrity, a new figure in the White House gave Americans a larger than life idol to root for, full of color and character. It wasn't the Rough Riding new president, Teddy Roosevelt, but his outrageous and outrageously charming teenage daughter, Alice. From the moment she strode into town, carrying a snake and dangling a cigarette, to the image of her seven decades later, entertaining Republican and Democratic presidents in Washington's most celebrated salon. Alice Roosevelt Longworth was literally a legend in her own time.
This new biography, the first in twenty years is a richly entertaining portrait of America's most memorable first daughter. Alice in fact strode across the whole twentieth century, living her entire life on the political stage and in the public eye, earning the nickname "the other Washington monument." She grew up knowing Civil War veterans, lived through two World Wars, helped up the roar in the Roaring Twenties, and campaigned against her cousin Franklin's New Deal.
She was a women far ahead of her time. She flaunted social conventions and opened the door for other women to do the same. Her barbed tongue was infamous, but whenever she talked, powerful people listened, as she had one of the most astute political minds of her age.
Alice Roosevelt Longworth was for eight decades the social doyenne in a town where socializing was state business. Meetings in her drawing room helped to change the course of history from undermining the League of Nations to boosting Richard Nixon's fortunes.
Probing far beyond gossip, Cordery restores the effervescent, intelligent and unpredictable Alice to her central role as one of the most influential women in American society and politics. And her story is hard to put aside.
And, Whatever You Do, Don't Run, The Tale of a Botswana Safari Guide, Peter Allison
This book is a hilarious collection of true tales from top safari guide Peter Allison. In a place where the wrong behavior can get you eaten. Allison has survived face to face encounters with big cats, angry elephants and the world's most unpredictable animals, herds of untamed tourists and foolhardy guides whose outrageous antics sometimes make them even more dangerous than a pride of hungry lions!
Join Allison as he faces down charging lions, twice searches for a drunk half naked tourist who happens to be a member of the British Royal Family, drives a Land Rover full of tourists into a lagoon full of hippos, and adopts the most vicious animal in Africa as his pet.
The reader will find the book full of lively humor and a genuine love and respect for Botswana and the rich wildlife, and certainly every day is a new adventure.
In 1994 Peter Allison set out for a year long stay in Africa. More than a dozen years and hundreds of adventures later (some in the book) he's still leading safaris and collecting stories. He's been featured in National Geographic and on television programs such as Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures.
And, Revolution of Hope, The Life, Faith, and Dreams of a Mexican President, Vicente Fox and Rob Allyn
When the Mexican people swept Vicente Fox into office in 2000, they broke the dictatorial one party rule that had strangled Mexico for more than seventy years, the longest reigning authoritarian government of the twentieth century. President Fox steered Mexico's fragile young democracy through turbulent times.
Now, in their vivid and intimate book, Vicente Fox tells his inspiring personal story. A native son of Mexico, grandson of pioneers from the United States and Spain, he worked his way up from ranch hand and truck driver to become the youngest CEO in the history of Coca Cola Mexico. His political rise from precinct worker to world leader was equally swift. Vicente Fox's account of his unlikely 2000 crusade, when his upset victory of a dark horse presidential candidate toppled the "perfect dictatorship" that had ruled Mexico longer than the Communists ran the Soviet Union, offers a refreshing down to earth view of how change can bring hope.
President Fox held office during dramatic years of world history. Days before terrorists attack the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, he was in Washington on the brink of a historic immigration accord with President Bush, until 9/11 caused the United States to stop building bridges with Mexico and start building walls. For the first time we are privy to the inside details of his negotiations with Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair regarding the declaration of war against Iraq, as Fox led Mexico to a brave stance for peace in the U.N. Security Council. He discusses candidly the ups and downs but sometimes rocky relationships with George Bush and other world leaders.
I highly recommend this enlightening and informative book. Vicente Fox embodies the American Dream in its broadest sense, as a vision of the possibilities of the New World. Elected as a political outsider with a message of change, the man Time's 2000 Newsmaker of the Year issue call the "Coca Cola Revolutionary" is truly a world hero of democracy. A personal story of triumph and a bold political vision of the future.
See you at Rylander!