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Eleanor and Franklin: The Story of Their Relationship, based on Eleanor Roosevelt's Private Papers Hardcover – January 16, 1971


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Eleanor and Franklin: The Story of Their Relationship, based on Eleanor Roosevelt's Private Papers + The Autobiography Of Eleanor Roosevelt (Quality Paperbacks Series) + No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 765 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (January 16, 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393074595
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393074598
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #671,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joseph P. Lash (1909–1987) was secretary and confidant to Eleanor Roosevelt and the author of numerous acclaimed books.

Arthur M. Schlesinger (1917 - 2007) was a historian who served as special assistant to President John F. Kennedy. Among his many works are the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Age of Jackson and A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (b.1882 — d.1945), 32nd President of the United States (1933–1945).

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
This biography is one of the best I have ever read.
Natalie Erber
Because this book is about relationships rather than policy, it is easy to imagine how annoying Eleanor's goody two shoes nature can be very annoying to FDR.
Tiger
We're still learning new information about the Roosevelts as correspondence is still popping up.
PlanktonEater

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By PlanktonEater on August 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The first time I read this book I felt as though I'd been pulled through a wringer. But I've gone back to it many times as I've learned more about these people.

We're still learning new information about the Roosevelts as correspondence is still popping up. I've read most the major bios of the man and I have to say that the more I read the more I admire him, but the less I like him. Clementine Churchill, of all people, thought FDR the most self-centered/egotistical man she ever met. THAT's saying something! And he was.

Eleanor is a constant source of wonder. I read Blanche Wiesen Cook's "Eleanor Roosevelt, Vol. 1" before I read this, and most folks should probably do the same as Lash's book is a great deal in one gulp.

But when the book is over you realize that the Roosevelts truly belonged in the White House as few have.

An amazing read about an amazing life.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Crawford on October 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is an exceptional political biography of one of the greatest teams of the 20C. You have FDR, a man of protean energies and charisma, coupled with a wife who brought her own talents and passions to the union. Though he was out in front, Eleanor clearly was a great force in the background, a conscience, choosing her causes, pushing Franklin, and staking out positions with great courage.

Unlike Roosevelt biographies up to this point, Eleanor dominates this one, with FDR's career a kind of frame of the development of her mind and activism. As daughter of Teddy Rooseveldt's elder brother - an alcoholic wastrel whom she loved and feared for - she was born to privilege, position, and private pain. There is a wonderfully horrific scene depicted when she witnessesed, as a pre-teen, her father get drunk in a club and then carried out, a humiliation that marked her deeply.

FDR chose her for marriage, in what Lash describes as a prescient political move: even though she was not as beautiful as the many available debutants of their class and milieu, she would support him and play her role to perfection as he entered electoral politics, subtly guiding him with an equal political genius. They came to embody the New Deal and all the reforms and experiments that period entailed, though again the details of this are in only the background of the book.

Interestingly, Lash covers how burdensome she found her role personally, how it wore her down emotionally and caused her to despair at the moment he was elected president. In this version, she was also unhappy with the intimate side of the marriage: she found sex a burden to bear, finally discovering that FDR was having an affair with her social secretary and friend, Lucy.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Whetstone Guy on September 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I wanted to read a biography of Eleanor Roosevelt (ER) partially because my deceased mother had told me that ER was a great woman. I totally agree with my mother.

I walk away after reading the book with knowledge of ER's talents, strengths, and faults (not too many faults) and her relationship with her husband Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) and many other individuals, particularly FDR's mother, Sara Delano Roosevelt.

ER gave more than she got from FDR. Even though FDR betrayed ER by his adulterous relationship with Lucy Mercer prior to being stricken by polio, without ER's remarkable efforts, FDR would have been an invalid emotionally as well as physically after he was stricken.

FDR's marriage with ER was irrevocably damaged after ER learned about FDR's affair with Lucy Mercer. Estrangement within a marriage is sad. After FDR became President (he was President for a little over 12 years) ER and FDR spent a signifcant amount of time apart. ER did not like to go to Warm Springs, Georgia, which FDR found therapeutic. ER even had her own place called Val-Kill at New Hyde Park. And when FDR went to one of Bernard Baruch's homes in South Carolina to rest, he did not take ER with him. Also, both ER and FDR traveled without each other on different political matters. And after ER learned about FDR's affair with Lucy Mercer, ER and FDR had separate bedrooms.

The author, Joseph Lash, a friend of ER, was chosen by FDR Jr., who was ER's literary executor, to write this book. Mr. Lash, an ex-reporter, writes objectively and discreetly about ER and about FDR. FDR was an excellent president (the Allies defeated Germany, Italy, and Japan in a very methodical manner), but he was spoiled, emotionally and materially, as a child.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Natalie Erber on December 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This biography is one of the best I have ever read. It is intimate, in that the author knew Eleanor in her later years,sensitive and well documented. The letters he had access to are wonderful to read also.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Brian Keith O. Hara on May 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Eleanor and Franklin were no only heroes to millions of Americans, they were people who attained power without losing their humanity. From the turn of the century, when Eleanor worked in Settlement Houses among the poorest of the poor in New York City's worst slums until they were in the White House implementing programs which would mitigate the suffering of the Depression: they were always on our side.
A great book about us and them, along with the TV Series "The Waltons" it proves that we were better people then.
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