The central volume in the definitive biography of America's most important First Lady. "Engrossing" (Boston Globe).
The captivating second volume of this Eleanor Roosevelt biography covers 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.
This highly readable, well-researched work of feminist scholarship erases the image of the young Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) as a long suffering, repressed wife and presents her as a strong, ever-evolving individual who overcame an emotionally impoverished childhood to become a champion of social justice and a woman deeply involved in enduring love relationships. Cook ( Crystal Eastman on Women and Revolution ) notes that although her subject felt compelled by the tenor of the times to act the role of dutiful wife, daughter-in-law and mother, she early on transformed herself from a dependent female into a social activist, writer and teacher. Her work with feminist friends during the 1920s on the League of Nations and the World Court is fully covered, as is her involvement in FDR's political campaigns. The author is forthright about her subject's private life. As much anguish as her husband's affair with Lucy Mercer caused her, it also liberated her to forge her own erotic relationships. For the first time adequate coverage is given of Eleanor Roosevelt's possible affair with Earl Miller, a New York state trooper who became her bodyguard, and her enduring passionate relationship with reporter Lorena Hickok. An outstanding first installment of a projected two-volume study of a major 20th-century figure. Photos not seen by PW. First serial to Mirabella; author tour.