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Monday, October 29, 2018

Eleanor Roosevelt: Fighter for Justice by Ilene Cooper

Eleanor RooseveltI have always been a fan of Eleanor Roosevelt, so when I saw new biography on our shelf, I knew I had to read it.  I was not disappointed and learned many new things about her.

While born to a wealthy and prominent family, Eleanor did not have a good childhood.  Her mother gave her a nickname of "Granny" because of her looks, which caused Eleanor shame.  In her father's eyes, his "little Nell," was his favorite and it was through him that Eleanor learned to help those less fortunate than herself.  Eleanor lost both parents at a young age and was raised by her grandmother, who did not provide much emotional support to her or her brothers.  The book tells of her education abroad, how she worked to provide opportunities and safer living conditions for immigrants in her early years before she married Franklin.

I never realized how controlling Franklin's mother was, and it made life uncomfortable for Eleanor.  However the two agreed upon the Civil Rights movement and often were a united front on the subject with Franklin.  Eleanor became Franklin's ears and eyes after he was stricken with polio.  She was definitely one of his most trusted advisers and she gained the respect of many of the men in Washington, D.C. for her views, which during that time period was hard to do.  She was a woman before her time who fought for the underdog.  Even after Franklin's death, President Truman appointed Eleanor to the newly formed United Nations, a position mainly held by men.  Eleanor Roosevelt was a strong female figure and a role model for young women, even in today's modern time.

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