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Download Hissing Cousins: The Untold Story of Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Roosevelt Longworth Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Hissing Cousins: The Untold Story of Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Roosevelt Longworth Audiobook, by Marc Peyser Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Marc Peyser, Timothy Dwyer Narrator: Suzanne Toren Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2015 ISBN: 9781101913949
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A lively and provocative double biography of first cousins Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Roosevelt Longworth, two extraordinary women whose tangled lives provide a sweeping look at the twentieth century.

When Theodore Roosevelt became president in 1901, his beautiful and flamboyant daughter was transformed into “Princess Alice,” arguably the century’s first global celebrity. Thirty-two years later, her first cousin Eleanor moved into the White House as First Lady. Born eight months and twenty blocks apart from each other in New York City, Eleanor and Alice spent a large part of their childhoods together and were far more alike than most historians acknowledge.

But their politics and temperaments couldn’t have been more distinct. Do-gooder Eleanor was committed to social justice but hated the limelight; acid-tongued Alice, who became the wife of philandering Republican congressman Nicholas Longworth, was an opponent of big government who gained notoriety for her cutting remarks. While Eleanor revolutionized the role of First Lady with her outspoken passion for human rights, Alice made the most of her insider connections to influence politics, including doing as much to defeat the League of Nations as anyone in elective office.

The cousins themselves liked to play up their oil-and-water relationship. “When I think of Frank and Eleanor in the White House I could grind my teeth to powder and blow them out my nose,” Alice once said. In the 1930s they even wrote opposing syndicated newspaper columns and embarked on competing nationwide speaking tours. Blood may be thicker than water, but when the family business is politics, winning trumps everything.

Vivid, intimate, and stylishly written, Hissing Cousins finally sets this relationship center stage, revealing the contentious bond between two political trailblazers who short-circuited the rules of gender and power, each in her own way.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “With verve and insight, Marc Peyser and Timothy Dwyer have written a powerful and entertaining portrait of an important and overlooked American relationship…[and] take us inside a momentous family during momentous hours. A terrific read!”

    Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

  • “A vivid, occasionally mind-boggling view of the conflicting impulses in our national character…One of the most entertaining accounts of serious history I’ve read, eliciting laughter, groans and ultimately a certain panoramic comprehension.”

    Diane McWhorter, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Carry Me Home

  • “Ripping but poignant…This volume reminds us just how punishing life in a presidential family can be.”


  • “This new book focuses on a relationship that changed radically as these two women, both born in 1884, grew up and assumed their roles as leading figures in their respective political parties…Both grab our sympathy as young women…but in adulthood their differences couldn’t be starker.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Manages to encapsulate the sweeping saga of the Roosevelt family within its covers in a clear and readable fashion.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • "[A] compelling drama dimmed by the fog of time. The research is thorough and the prose is stylishly authoritative.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Peyser and Dwyer’s detailed and witty double biography is hard to put down, a fascinating look at an era and two exceptionally strong, intelligent women.”

    Booklist (starred reviews)

  • “Suzanne Toren’s fine rendition of this engaging biography of two equally famous but vastly different women is one of the unqualified pleasures among this spring’s listening delights. Marc Peyser and Timothy Dwyer have done an exemplary job of reconstructing a neglected subplot in the Roosevelt family saga, and Toren brings charm, vigor, and a congenial lilt to a narrative that isn’t nearly as biting or contentious as the title may imply—though, it turns out, biting and contentious enough…Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • “Sharp, touching, funny, and wise. Marc Peyser and Timothy Dwyer have brought to life a pair of the great women of the twentieth century, in all their human flaws and glory.”

    Evan Thomas, author of Ike’s Bluff

  • “This is the beautifully-rendered and absorbing story of the seventy-year family rivalry between two of the most compelling women of the twentieth century—one Democrat, one Republican, both fascinating.”

    Jonathan Alter, author ofThe Defining Moment

  • “For much of the twentieth century Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Longworth defined what it meant to be an influential woman in politics, although their personalities and styles could not have been more different. This part of the grand Roosevelt family saga has rarely been told and never better.”

    H. W. Brands, author of Traitor to His Class

  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
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About the Author

Marc Peyser is a writer and former deputy editor at both Newsweek and Budget Travel. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Life, Vogue, Time Out New York, Condé Nast Traveler, and the Best Business Writing, 2003. He is currently the deputy editor of All You magazine.

About the Narrator

Suzanne Toren has recorded over nine hundred audiobooks. She has performed on Broadway and in regional theaters in works penned by Shakespeare, Molière, and Arthur Miller. She has also appeared on Law & Order and in various soap operas. She was awarded the Narrator of the Year Award for her audiobook recordings for the Library of Congress and has earned more than two dozen Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine.