Andrea Friederici Ross
Edith: The Rogue Rockefeller McCormick: An Evening with Andrea Friederici Ross
Independent bookstore The Book Stall is excited to host author Andrea Friederici Ross on Thursday, February 9 at 6:30 PM. She will be discussing her book, Edith: The Rogue Rockefeller McCormick, the 2021 Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year in Traditional Nonfiction! Edith, a daughter of John D. Rockefeller and wife of harvester heir Harold McCormick, did everything she could to elevate Chicago’s cultural and artistic offerings. She established Brookfield Zoo, helped launch Chicago Grand Opera, started her own real estate firm, and endowed an infectious disease institute that helped curb scarlet fever. Despite these concrete accomplishments, she was largely known for her eccentric personality and her many family scandals. This event is free and open to the public.
More About the Book: Andrea Friederici Ross has brought fresh light to the story of the powerful Rockefeller family through the life of John D.’s daughter Edith. Raised in a strict Baptist household where her mother, Laura Spelman, carried on John’s prescription of severe thriftiness despite enormous wealth, Edith liberated herself through marriage to another wealthy heir, Harold McCormick. Extravagant in the extreme and often in debt, the power couple lived a life marked alternatively by great joy and tragedy, excessive spending, and generous philanthropy. Ross masterfully weaves in the family’s struggles with mental illness and their pursuit of treatment through the new field of psychoanalysis and old-fashioned quackery. Rejecting the limited gender role carved out for her by her father and society, Edith Rockefeller McCormick forged her own path, despite pushback from her family and ultimate financial ruin.
Chicago Reader‘s Deanna Issacs says this riveting story about Chicago’s quirky patron saint is “a deeply researched, briskly readable account of the life of Chicago grande dame Edith Rockefeller McCormick . . . This is fascinating, stranger-than-fiction Chicago history, and a page-turner.”
More About the Author: Andrea Friederici Ross is the author of Let the Lions Roar! The Evolution of Brookfield Zoo. A native of the Chicago area and a graduate of Northwestern University, Ross works in a grade school library, where she encourages young readers to develop a lasting love of books. You can read more about her at www.friedericiross.com.