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The Autobiography Of Eleanor Roosevelt (Quality Paperbacks Series) Paperback – February 1, 2000

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Product Details

  • Series: Quality Paperbacks Series
  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Reprint edition (February 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030680476X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306804762
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #298,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Brava, October 2011
“A lively and honest look at her life, her politics, and so much more.”

From the Back Cover

A candid and insightful look at an era and a life through the eyes of one of the most remarkable Americans of the twentieth century

The long and eventful life of Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) was full of rich experiences and courageous actions. The niece of Theodore Roosevelt, she married a Columbia University law student named Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who gradually ascended in the world of New York politics to reach the presidency in 1932. Throughout his three terms, Eleanor Roosevelt was not only intimately involved in FDR's personal and political life but also led women's organizations and youth movements, and fought for consumer welfare, civil rights, and better housing standards. During World War II she traveled with her husband to meet leaders of many powerful nations; after his death in 1945 she worked as a UN delegate, chairman of the Commission on Human Rights, newspaper columnist, Democratic Party activist, and diplomat, and was a world traveler. By the end of her life, Eleanor Roosevelt was recognized around the world for her fortitude and commitment to the ideals of liberty and human rights. Her autobiography constitutes a self-portrait no biography can match for its candor and liveliness, wisdom, tolerance, and breadth of view—a self-portrait of one of the greatest American humanitarians of our time.

With 8 pages of black-and-white photographs and an afterword by Eleanor Roosevelt's granddaughter

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

Made it a quick read and very interesting.
Watch Eleanor and heard about all the things she did for this country and the people, so wanted to read it for myself.
Beverly A. Woolley
She was an amazing woman with great insight.
Jill Risko

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

140 of 144 people found the following review helpful By C. Matsusaka on September 24, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're looking for a "first" Eleanor biography, don't start with this one. Read it eventually, but not at first.

If you have read her collected writings, "No Ordinary Time" or the biography(ies) by Blanche Wiesen Cook this autobiography is a much needed voice. It may not be as engrossing or tantlizing as the others, but it offers a layered look into her history. I struggled with the Wiesen Cook books but ended up enjoying them very much and I would have to say that with out them, this autobiography would not have had such an impact. What she shares in her autobiography is enlightening at times, but what is more significant is the specifics she leaves out or vaguely refers to in the generalist of terms.

The best way to describe this book is comparing it to a long chat with a woman you've respected for a long time. You knew things about her, you heard the rumors, but now you're sitting with her, listening to her tell you how she really felt things happened.
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78 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Rob C on February 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
I bought this book during a visit to Eleanor Roosevelt's Val-Kill Cottage in Hyde Park. I had read Doris Kearn's "No Ordinary Time" years prior and it had stoked an deep interest in me for more on the Roosevelts of Hyde Park. This book is an interesting look at a woman whose transformation impacted the nation and the world. Surely, she is the most interesting and influential woman of the 20th Century.

The book covers a great many historical events as well as personal incidents in her life. The early years give us a glimpse into the thinking of an awkward and self-conscious girl. She guides us through her growing involvement in New York politics. The presidential years are interesting. But I found that reading a book ABOUT Eleanor in those years as opposed to reading her self deprecating and understated views was mor enlightening. The most captivating portions ofthis book were the post presidential years, particularly her roleas a UN Delegage and as Chairman of the Human Rights Commission. I thought the book was good, although I had to keep reminding myself that an autobiography is one person's personal story of events - not the grand history of events.

I am very glad I read her autobiography and read her own words. She is that much more a compelling woman to me. History buffs should not shy away from this book. Immensely readable, with an occasional slow spot.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Justice on April 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book sheds light a long period of American history through the narration of an amazing woman who you will grow to admire as much as I did. Born into an elite aristocratic American family, Eleanor could have remained hemmed in by the insular values with which she was raised. Women were supposed to stay out of politics, Anglo-Saxons were supposed to run the country and only mingle amongst themselves, and the poor deserved their lot.

Eleanor grew up with a lot of the prejudices someone of her class and generation might be expected to have but then she transformed into a woman who fought tirelessly against poverty, racism, sexism, and injustices of all kinds. I think that is her true legacy and what makes her so remarkable. In a society that wanted women to be purely ornamental, Eleanor could have done as so many women of her age and class did, remain prisoners to their narrow views and beliefs.

But Eleanor did more. Because she was not conventionally attractive, she was supposed to hide away from society. Because she was a woman, she wasn't supposed to get involved in political affairs. But she got involved! She told FDR what she thought about everything, urging him to pass anti-lynching legislation, include more women in his cabinet, and earning his profound respect-if not always his complience!

Sometimes she could be a bit naive, (like when, in the fifties, she told a soviet leader how much Americans had done to improve the "life of the negro", but Eleanor's empathy, compassion, humility and personal strength comes through so strongly in these profoundly human writings of hers that I really think anyone would enjoy them. What a wonderful woman!
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
Eleanor Roosevelt's autobiography provides very little information about her life. She vaguely refers to many seemingly important events (such as the death of her father, her husband's presidency) with little emotion and no detail whatsoever. If you know a lot about her and the politics of the time already, it may offer an interesting perspective. If you want to know details of ER's incredibly interesting life, read her biography by Blanch Weisen Cook.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Leah Raddish on March 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
While reading this book you get to share in the many personal experiences of Eleanor Roosevelt. She does not focus much on her relationships, rather she focuses on sharing her experiences. The places she has gone to and the people she has talked to are absolutley amazing. She shares her firsthand experiences of the mine workers and her talks with people in communist Russia. It is amazing that just one woman has seen and heard from so many varying perspectives. She really did try to empathize with the people and situations around her and this really comes out in her book. I think many people can learn from reading this book on how to be a better listener and observer and critical thinker of the life happening around you.
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