Too Close to the Sun

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

3.73 (134 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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This vivid, honest memoir of growing up in the Roosevelt White House during the Great Depression is a delicious read for anyone interested in American history or the presidency.Curtis Roosevelt was born five and half months after Black Tuesday, when the New York Stock Exchange crash in October, 1929, paved the way, not only for the Great Depression, but also, for his grandfather's presidency. History had his family in its grip, and he had no choice but to go along for the ride.Just three years old, Curtis arrived at his grandparents' household at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue only a very short time after they themselves had begun to unpack. He and his sister, Eleanor, were the country's 'First Grandchildren', a pint-sized double act, known to the media as "Sistie and Buzzie" (pronounced as one word). "Too Close to the Sun" is his intimate account of growing up in the Roosevelt White House. With nostalgia and candour, Roosevelt describes his role as a tiny planet circling the dual suns of his grandfather and grandmother, known to him as Papa and Grandmere.
Blending self-abasement, humour, resentment and affection, Roosevelt describes the emotional impact of living his formative years with two larger-than-life figures, of having little identity beyond being one-half of the "Sistie and Buzzie" show, and of being kept on a short leash by everyone from his grandmother to his bodyguard."Too Close to the Sun" offers a rich chronicle of daily life in the Depression era White House and a moving tale of coming to terms with an untraditional childhood. It is also a fascinating portrait of arguably the most influential and inspirational figure in modern American history. Curtis Roosevelt was there. And he will take readers along with him, into the long-ago world that formed him-for better or for worse.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 190.5 x 236.22 x 30.48mm | 997.9g
  • PublicAffairs,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • H
  • 1586485547
  • 9781586485542
  • 1,647,326

Review quote

Kirkus, October 1, 2008"FDR's eldest grandson nostalgically recounts his childhood growing up in close proximity to his charismatic grandparents.... He captures the delight of living at the White House from the perspective of a child given access to presidential marches, receptions and afternoon teas."Publishers Weekly, October 2, 2008"Curtis writes affectionately and beautifully about his grandparents.... 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."USA Today, November 25, 2008"Even as a young boy Roosevelt had a keen eye to what was going on around him, and gives us a peek behind the curtains of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., including FDR's 'bedside breakfast meetings' where the president read the comics to his grandchildren while reviewing the day's schedule with his advisers."
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About Curtis Roosevelt

Curtis Roosevelt, born in 1930, is the second eldest child of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt and the oldest grandson of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt. He received an M.A. from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, and later worked in advertising and public relations. 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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Rating details

134 ratings
3.73 out of 5 stars
5 22% (30)
4 41% (55)
3 25% (33)
2 11% (15)
1 1% (1)
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