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

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9781586485542: Too Close to the Sun: Growing Up in the Shadow of my Grandparents, Franklin and Eleanor
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Curtis Roosevelt was three when he and his sister, Eleanor, arrived at the White House soon after their grandfather's inauguration. The country's First Grandchildren,” a pint-sized double act, they were known to the media as Sistie and Buzzie.”

In this rich memoir, Roosevelt brings us into the goldfish bowl,” as his family called it that glare of public scrutiny to which all presidential households must submit. He recounts his misadventures as a hapless kid in an unforgivably formal setting and describes his role as a tiny planet circling the dual suns of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Blending self-abasement, humor, awe and affection, Too Close to the Sun is an intimate portrait of two of the most influential and inspirational figures in modern American history and a thoughtful exploration of the emotional impact of growing up in their irresistible aura.

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About the Author:

Curtis Roosevelt is the second eldest child of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt and the oldest grandson of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt. In 1964, he joined the Secretariat of the United Nations, where for eighteen years he held various positions in the international civil service sector. He lives in France with his wife.

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Curtis Roosevelt was barely three years old when his grandfather FDR became president and he and his older sister, Eleanor, and mother, Anna Roosevelt (recently separated from the children's father), joined Franklin and Eleanor as residents in the White House for much of the next 12 years. Curtis and Sis quickly became known through the press as Sistie and Buzzie, whose slide and monkey bars adorned the White House lawn. Curtis writes affectionately and beautifully about his grandparents, but he also describes their large, sheltering presence as a double-edged sword. Life outside the protective—and isolated—White House cocoon, he writes, became hugely distorted, especially for an impressionable youngster like me. Along with relaying a rich and fascinating cornucopia of anecdotes involving family life, Curtis devotes thoughtful discussion to the complex subject of reflected fame and its impact on young people growing up as the scions of celebrity. No one alive today knew Franklin and Eleanor quite as well as Curtis, their eldest grandson, and his sister. Thus this splendid, intimate memoir represents an invaluable addition to the literature of the Roosevelt era. Illus. (Nov.)
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