Doris Kearns Goodwin - No Ordinary Time: Franklin And Eleanor Roosevelt, The Home Front In World War II

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A Masterpiece for Goodwin!

Dec 24, 2000
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:history brought to life; readability

Cons:none

I was born ten years after Roosevelt's death, but it never stopped me from admiring him and his times, and reading extensively on his career. Additionally, I've been an admirer of Eleanor Roosevelt since I was a child.

One might think that just about everything possible has been written covering the Roosevelts, but Mrs. Goodwin's book covers new ground. I've always been fascinated with the history of the 'home front' during WWII. This book covers both.

After reading the book, there's no doubt that the quality of Mrs. Goodwin's research is impeccable. However, this is not what makes this book special.

Every so often we come across an author who has the ability to make history 'live', particularly for those who might not read history otherwise. The late Barbara Tuchman's books were like this. Doris Goodwin has the same ability.

"No Ordinary Time" can be read as a novel just as easily as history. The book has a clever alternation of significant events and decisions with incidents in the personal lives of the Roosevelts and their closest employees. This isn't easy to do; that's why so few authors do it. By the end of the book one can feel that one knows the Roosevelts; in other words, they 'live'!

I've loaned my copy of this book out to many friends who aren't history buffs and who don't usually read nonfiction. They all loved it, simply for its readability.

This wasn't my first Goodwin book, and I'd certainly recommend her memoirs on growing up with baseball. For anyone remotely interested in the Roosevelts, the 'home front', or WWII, this is required reading.


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