Jonathan Yardley reviews a new biography by Stacy Cordery of the irrepressible Alice Roosevelt Longworth, a queen of high society. For decades she influenced Washington politics from behind the scenes.
Stacy Cordery writes: "Alice . . . was sometimes accused of inconsistency, yet much was constant throughout her life: books; her intellectual curiosity; the need to be at the center; her conviction that the United States should not become entangled in the business of foreign countries; her dismissal of whiners, complainers, and those who indulged in regrets; her belief that what a later generation would call self-fulfillment, and what she called 'an appetite for being entertained,' was just as viable a path as 'do-gooderism'; her support for conservative national fiscal policy; her loyalty to her friends; her shyness; her loathing of drunkenness; her fear of losing control; her commitment to independence."Share