Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
No Ordinary Time is a monumental work, a brilliantly conceived chronicle of one of the most vibrant and revolutionary periods in the history of the United States. With an extraordinary collection of details, Goodwin masterfully weaves together a striking number of story lines—Eleanor and Franklin's marriage and remarkable partnership, Eleanor's life as First Lady, and FDR's White House and its impact on America as well as on a world at war. Goodwin effectively melds these details and stories into an unforgettable and intimate portrait of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt and of the time during which a new, modern America was born.
No previous biography of a president has given so complete a picture of how private lives and political questions intersect uniquely for the residents of the White House. Nor has any history of WWII so fully documented the domestic life of the nation during the international crisis. Narrating the events of the war from the vantage point of the White House, Goodwin (Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream) reveals a political drama fought in Congress, within the cabinet, in the press and in the living quarters of the executive mansion. As Goodwin makes richly evident, Eleanor was a homefront counterpart to Winston Churchill, a partner and provocateur whose relationship with FDR was rarely smooth and often frankly confrontational. Previous works on the Roosevelts have suggested that, as an adviser, Eleanor was her husband's political and social conscience; Goodwin shows in stunning detail that even more, she was his astute political partner, lobbyist and goad. The author's portrait offers a fresh perspective on WWII and, more than coincidentally during the debate over the proper role of Hillary Rodham Clinton, depicts how a savvy, relentlessly involved First Lady incalculably enriched and shaped the political and social agendas of the nation. Photos. History Book Club split main selection; BOMC alternate; author tour.