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Eleanor Roosevelt - a Personal and Public Life

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J. William T. Youngs

Eleanor Roosevelt: A Personal and Public Life

Longman, New York 2000

This book is about a woman who forever changed the course of women's role in American history. Eleanor Roosevelt was an extremely important figure in the history of the United States, especially during the twentieth century. The way the author uses the book to help the reader to feel included in Eleanor's life, makes the reader feel as if he knows Mrs. Roosevelt.

Eleanor was the daughter of Anna Hall and Elliot Roosevelt. She was born on October 11, 1885. The firstborn of the couple, she was their "miracle from heaven." (p.26) Her father had some problems and went to live in Virginia to straighten out his life. Eleanor was without her father most of the time. While she was still young, Eleanor's mother died. So much tragedy for such a young girl, these trials eventually became some of the things that made her such a strong woman.

After her mother's death, Eleanor resided with her grandmother. She was a shy and timid child. She never knew where she really fit into the world. In 1899, Eleanor started school at Allenswood in England. It was here that she began to learn about herself and the world.

Eleanor came from a good family that had bountiful money. She was fairly sheltered from the outside world that consisted of "normal people." She had many insecurities, many of which remained with her throughout her adulthood. These insecurities may have held her back, but sometimes they made her the compassionate woman she was.

In 1905, Eleanor married Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was a lawyer and interested in politics. Eleanor strived to be a good wife to Franklin, but she was always under her mother in law, Sara's thumb. One of the biggest hurdles of insecurity Eleanor had to overcome was the fact that Franklin cheated on her. She did get past this however, but the marriage was never the same.

The American people loved Eleanor. She was her husband's partner in politics. She did not just talk about the "poor American citizens," she actually went out and met them, fed them, and showed them compassion. She was a well respected woman that many thought was going to lead woman in the fight for equal rights.

When Franklin became the president of the United States, Eleanor had to accept her role as the first lady. Mrs. Roosevelt was not like the First Ladies before her. She made her mark on society. She got involved in politics. Franklin

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