Synopses & Reviews
She was at home on the western range and in New York salons. An energetic entrepreneur who managed a ranch, an airline, and a resort. A politician who became a key player in the New Deal. Isabella Greenway blazed a trail for remarkable women in Arizona politics today, from Janet Napolitano to Sandra Day O'Connor. Now Kristie Miller offers an intimate view of this extraordinary woman. Isabella Greenway's life was linked with both Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Her infancy was spent on a snow-swept ranch in North Dakota, where young TR was a neighbor and a friend. In her teens, she captivated Edith Wharton's New York as a glamorous debutante. A bridesmaid in the wedding of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, Isabella was the bride of Robert Ferguson, a Scottish nobleman and one of TR's Rough Riders. They went west when he developed tuberculosis; after his death, she married his fellow Rough Rider, Arizona copper magnate John Greenway. In Tucson, the energetic Isabella ran an airline, worked with disabled veterans, and founded the world-famous Arizona Inn. When the Great Depression brought hard times, Eleanor Roosevelt recruited Isabella to work for the Democratic Party. Isabella played a decisive role in Franklin Roosevelt's nomination to the presidency in 1932; the New York Times called her "the most-talked-of woman at the National Democratic Convention." She was elected to Congress as Arizona's only US Representative, and again drew national media attention when she challenged FDR for not being sufficiently progressive. Miller's meticulous biography captures a life of adventure and romance, from southern tobacco country to the ballrooms of New York, from western ranches to the dome of the US Capitol. She shows national politics played out behind the scenes, Isabella's lifelong friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt, and the drama of a loyal wife caring for a dying husband despite having fallen in love with a younger man. The book also shows Greenway's considerable influence on the development of Arizona's business and politics in the early decades of statehood. Although Isabella Greenway died in 1953, the Arizona Inn—a tribute to her enterprise—remains a premier resort hotel, celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2005. This book, too, celebrates Isabella's energy, vision, indomitable spirit, and love of life.
"This book has a little bit of everything: adventure, history and romance. It’s a true story that reads like a novel." —Tucson Citizen
"Crafty, resourceful, charming, dedicated and warm-hearted, Isabella Greenway lived a life that was both tumultuous and inspiring. One must thank Miller for reminding us, through the life of Greenway, that a big smile and a lot of determination can overcome any hardship placed before us." —Tucson Weekly
“Solid, clearly written, [and] well-researched book . . . . Miller was practically born to write this.”—Journal of Arizona History
An energetic entrepreneur as well as a politician who was a key player during the New Deal, Isabella Greenway blazed a trail for the remarkable women in Arizona politics today. Kristie Miller's meticulous biography captures a life of adventure and romance, from Edith Wharton's New York and a life-long friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt to ventures into ranching, the airline industry, furniture manufacturing, and hotel management. The book also reveals Greenway's considerable influence on the development of Arizona in the early decades of statehood.
About the Author
Kristie Miller is the author of Ruth Hanna McCormick: A Life in Politics, 1880-1944 and co-editor of We Have Come to Stay: American Women and Political Parties, 1880-1960. She lives in McLean, Virginia.