The Sisters: Babe Mortimer Paley, Betsy Roosevelt Whitney, Minnie Astor Fosburgh: The Lives and Times of the Fabulous Cushing Siste

David Grafton, Author
David Grafton, Author Villard Books $22.5 (316p) ISBN 978-0-394-58416-4
Reviewed on: 02/03/1992
Release date: 02/01/1992
Hardcover - 978-0-517-14414-5
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Although Boston patriarch Harvey Cushing was a famous neurosurgeon, the real business in his family was the securing of highly advantageous marriages for the social-climbing daughters, according to this bland, psychologically unrevealing and repetitious biography. Betsey made it to the White House as wife of FDR's son Jimmy Roosevelt, but her friendship with the president was bitterly resented by Jimmy and First Lady Eleanor; a happier and wealthier second marriage to Jock Whitney followed. Minnie disappointed her family when she divorced Vincent Astor and his fortune and later married homosexual artist James Fosburgh. Grafton ( Red, Hot and Rich ) recycles anecdotes told better by Sally Bedell Smith in her biography of Babe's husband and CBS founder Bill Paley, All His Glory . The book is larded with lists of celebrities, and their clothing and jewels, but falls short of explaining Minnie's purported lesbianism and alcoholism or ``caring and generous'' Babe's neglect of her children. Photos not seen by PW. (Feb.)
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