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Too Close to the Sun: Growing Up in the Shadow of my Grandparents, Franklin and Eleanor

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A Fascinating Look at the Roosevelt Family

  • Dec 9, 2008
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Written by the grandson of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, this memoir is a unique perspective of what it was like to grow up in the bright spotlight (the sun) of the White House. Born Curtis Dall, then Curtis Boettinger after his stepfather, and finally Curtis Roosevelt, he is the son of Franklin and Eleanor's oldest child (and only daughter), Anna. Anna divorced her husband Curtis Dall and moved to the White House when her two children were only six and three years old. Known as "Sistie and Buzzie," the First Grandchildren immediately became the darlings of the press.

Curtis writes that his life in the White House offered "immense and wonderful privilege," yet admits it had a double edge. "Life outside the protection and isolated White House cocoon became hugely distorted, especially for an impressionable youngster like me . . . Intoxicated by the exhilarating environments . . . I created a dream world that protected me and it became a form of addiction."

This is an interesting take on what it was like to grow up in front of the press and in the White House, and it's especially interesting on the verge of the new administration, when once again, young children will be involved. Will the impact be overwhelming as it was for this author? Or will it be like more recent children of Presidents (carefully shielded from the press) and merely be a unique phase of childhood? One can't help but be fascinated by the offspring of our Presidents.

Bottom line: A fascinating inside look at the Roosevelt family with an impressive collection of photos. A great holiday gift idea for those interested in American and Presidential history. 

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