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

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No Ordinary book...extraordinary

Aug 20, 2000
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Rated a Flagged Review

Pros:Interesting, absorbing, excellent read

Cons:None

Our book club read this book and all members agreed this was one of the best books we have read.
The strength of Goodwin's book is her meticulous research. Some may think reading this might cause the book to be boring. This isn't further from the fact. This is an absorbing, interesting, building book about a presidency in probably the most chaotic time of the past century.
Goodwin tells the story of both FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt, their relationship, and those with others. She tells the story with respect to her subjects. She delves into FDR's closeness with his secretary and others and also with Eleanor's closeness with several women friends.
The book interesting tells of the country's slow move toward the inevitable war. Even though as a reader you know the outcome of the war, there are parts where you are reading anxiously hoping the president will make the right decision and understand the circumventing he must do to pass certain legislation to help countries already involved in the war.
You read of the cabinet's involvement to ready the country for a war that all know the country must enter.
As you read the book, you realize what great people both FDR and Eleanor both were. While FDR concentrated on worldwide issues....the depression and the war, Eleanor took care of national interests. She was spearheading racial equality, and rights for women. She was farsighted enough to know after the war was over women would not be happy to return home and to tell the President that the returning soldiers would need education and housing.
It's unfortunate to realize that today, FDR would not be elected, even though history show him to be a great president, if not the greatest. For one thing, he was not faithful to his wife and the media and national opinion would have torn him apart. Secondly, he was in a wheelchair....it's hard to believe our nation would elect a handicapped person now. Of course, FDr was very careful to never be photographed in a wheelchair and always was standing when people saw him. Eleanor would have been viewed as a dominating, perhaps lesbian women, instead of the strong advocate of human rights that she was. Her relationships with other women would have been speculated top the point that any power she had would have been useless.
This is an excellent book, well worth the read.


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