When you think of Eleanor Roosevelt, you probably picture a resolute, indomitable woman forging a path through American history. But the activist, diplomat, and first lady wasn't always such a courageous trailblazer, as is detailed in this substantive, page-turning biography. Familial wealth and privilege provided young Eleanor scant protection from a deeply unhappy childhood, and marriage to her cousin Franklin was more a meeting of minds than one of hearts or temperament. For an insecure young wife and mother relegated to the background in her husband's political world, it took a national crisis— the United States' entry into World War I—to spur her transformation into the woman who would be immortalized in history books: "'The war,' reflected Eleanor, 'was my emancipation and my education.'"
Rich in history and insight, Eleanor
is a nuanced portrait of a complex woman. (KG)