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Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 1

The Early Years, 1884-1933

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Description

Historians, politicians, feminists, critics, and reviewers everywhere have praised Blanche Wiesen Cook's monumental biography as the definitive portrait of this towering female figure of the twentieth century. The concluding volume, Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume Three, 1938-1962, will be published in November. Here, in the majestic second volume, Cook takes readers through the tumultuous era of the Great Depression, the New Deal, and the gathering storms of World War II, the years of the Roosevelts' greatest challenges and finest achievements. In her remarkably engaging narrative, Cook gives us the complete Eleanor Roosevelt— an adventurous, romantic woman, a devoted wife and mother, and a visionary policymaker and social activist who often took unpopular stands, counter to her husband's policies, especially on issues such as racial justice and women's rights. A biography of scholarship and daring, it is a book for all readers of American history.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

May 31, 1999 – When it appeared in 1992, the first volume of Cook's exhaustive, provocative biography of Eleanor Roosevelt radically redefined popular and critical perceptions of her subject's private life and elucidated the enormous role she played in the nation's public life. In this second of three installments--which opens with the Roosevelts' move to Washington to begin FDR's first administration and ends with Kristalnacht and the inevitability of a European war--Cook again proves herself a masterful researcher, historian and writer. With a steely command of facts and a meticulous eye for detail, she demonstrates how the president and First Lady--despite profoundly differing visions that often broke into public disagreement--entered into a delicate, mutually beneficial relationship based on trust, advisement and political action. By explicitly placing ER's political concerns--about human rights, the role of women, racial justice and social welfare--at the center of the narrative, Cook gives us a new, revealing lens through which to view U.S. foreign, domestic and social policy. The book's power resides in its author's ability to synthesize massive amounts of personal and historical material and to present it in graceful prose conveying the import and magnitude of her primary topic: the role that gender, sexuality and personal relationships played in the unfolding of a new vision for the U.S. and the world. This alone would make an important addition to the historical record. But Cook's ability to tease out nuance and illuminate complex, often enigmatic relationships (primarily the Roosevelts' genuinely loving, yet nonsexual marriage and Eleanor's intensely committed, sexual relationship with Lorena Hickock), and to place them in the broader sphere of public policy raises the book to an extraordinarily high level of scholarship. Cook is unafraid to take on difficult issues--in particular ER's own "reverberating silence" on the situation of Jews under Hitler and the administration's sadly conflicted stand on such racial issues as lynching--thus rendering the biography not simply a riveting read but also a profoundly moving and wise account of how history has been shaped by the intricacies of the human heart, mind and spirit. Photos not seen by PW.
Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 1
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  • $15.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Mar 01, 1993
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 608 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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