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Eleanor Roosevelt, Fighter for Justice: Her Impact on the Civil Rights Movement, the White House, and the World

Review

Eleanor Roosevelt, Fighter for Justice: Her Impact on the Civil Rights Movement, the White House, and the World

Eleanor Roosevelt wore many hats. She was a daughter, a wife, a mother, a first lady, a writer and an activist. She started life as the daughter of Anna and Elliott Roosevelt, Jr. Her mother died when she was eight years old, and her father died by suicide just two years later. She lived a life of wealth and privilege, but her father showed her that there were many people who didn’t have the material things she did.

When she was 20 years old, she married her fifth cousin, Dwight D. Roosevelt, who went on to become president of the United States. They had three children together, one of whom died in infancy. Their marriage wasn’t always a happy one. She stuck with him even though she discovered that he had had an affair. They agreed to continue the marriage, more as a business partnership than anything else. But, Eleanor became a much-needed assistant to Dwight when he was struck with polio and forced to spend most of his time in a wheelchair.

"Author Ilene Cooper takes readers behind the scenes and reveals Eleanor’s insecurities and shortcomings....a must-read."

During FDR’s presidency, and after he died, Eleanor spent her considerable wealth, time and talents to help those in need. She campaigned for such causes as women’s rights, civil rights and child labor laws, just to name a few.

Oftentimes, we read books about all the great things that someone famous did. These books often gloss over the less-than-glamorous things they did and had they were dealt with. Even though Eleanor is well-known for her tireless efforts to help others, author Ilene Cooper takes readers behind the scenes and reveals Eleanor’s insecurities and shortcomings.

The pages of the text are peppered with numerous photographs illustrating different parts of Eleanor’s life and the people she shared it with. The author includes a detailed timeline of Eleanor’s life, excerpts from a speech she made to the Chicago Civil Liberties Committee in 1940, a lengthy list of Notes from each chapter and a detailed Bibliography at the end of the book.

If you’re a fan of Eleanor Roosevelt, this is a must-read. If you’re not, but you like reading interesting biographies of people you might not know much about, then this is a must-read for you, too.

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on August 20, 2018

Eleanor Roosevelt, Fighter for Justice: Her Impact on the Civil Rights Movement, the White House, and the World
by Ilene Cooper