BOOKS: Growing Up Roosevelt

A dispiriting look at the disaster-plagued clans of T.R. and F.D.R.

Franklin Roosevelt used to say his most difficult constituency was his own family. "One of the worst things in the world is being the child of a President," he maintained. "It's a terrible life they lead." Eleanor and Franklin's six children ran up a total of 19 marriages; two spouses committed suicide, many more seemed to drink themselves silly. The siblings called it "the body count."

Peter Collier and David Horowitz have made a business of probing the underbellies of grand American families in books about the Kennedys and the Fords. In The Roosevelts: An American Saga (Simon and Schuster; 542...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!