Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II Paperback – October 1, 1995
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
A compelling chronicle of a nation and its leaders during the period when modern America was created. With an uncanny feel for detail and a novelist's grasp of drama and depth, Doris Kearns Goodwin brilliantly narrates the interrelationship between the inner workings of the Roosevelt White House and the destiny of the United States. Goodwin paints a comprehensive, intimate portrait that fills in a historical gap in the story of our nation under the Roosevelts.
From Publishers Weekly
Goodwin's account of the Roosevelt presidency during WWII highlights America's changing domestic front.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This book is not an exhaustive biography of Franklin and/or Eleanor Roosevelt. Nor is it a sequential, detailed account of the accomplishments of the 32nd President’s administration. No, there are plenty of books out there for you if that is what you are wanting. This book, instead, tells a magnificent story of the President and the First Lady as they guided the United States of America through its most tumultuous time of the 20th century.
This book really does have a little bit of “everything”, though. We start the narrative on May 9th, 1940. This was eight months after World War II began, but I believe the author starts the story here - as Hitler is simultaneously invading Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, and France, because this is the time when most in the USA realized that, sooner or later, this would be America’s war as well. So we do hear about events of the conflict in Europe and in Asia, but we’re also exposed to other troubles on the home front - some related to the war, others not so much. We’re also allowed to peer into the private lives of Franklin and Eleanor, and we learn much about these two great individuals, and how they were able to lift the U.S.A out of the Great Depression into arguably the greatest time the country has ever had when forced to rise to such an enormous occasion.
We do get thrown bits of information of their lives before 1940, but not much. Readers wanting, for example, a comprehensive understanding of Roosevelt’s “New Deal” should probably look elsewhere. When Goodwin takes us back in time, she does this so the reader can better understand the present. We see, for example, that these fifth cousins were actually born into a life of privilege, yet were attracted to each other because the other one had characteristics that they each sorely lacked. We also see Franklin’s over protective mother who smothered him with far too much attention. She never could really “let him go”, which actually damaged Franklin and Eleanor’s marriage to a degree.
This story is just as much about Eleanor as it is about Franklin. As First Lady of the United States, she’s not at all content to simply being a hostess of the White House and giving cocktail parties. No, the woman had an incredible progressive spirit, and she uses her title to travel the country pointing out all of the injustices and doing everything in her power to bring the issues to the front of everyone’s mind, including her husband’s. Her pet cause is Civil Rights for the African-American community, a cause that greatly needed more support. It really is amazingly heart breaking to read about the injustices that still existed in the 1940s around race relations.
Eleanor travels abroad as well, visiting soldiers close to the battle lines and in the hospitals, bringing comfort wherever she can. The woman has such a tireless disposition, that she manages to wear out and exhaust the military brass as they escort her around their destinations. Even they can’t keep up with the First Lady. At one point, the author mentions that the President and the First Lady were a great team because Franklin was good at accomplishing what could be done, whereas Eleanor devoted her attention to what should be done. The two, oddly, don’t always go hand in hand.
Sadly, it’s the actual relationship between husband and wife that makes this tale a bit sad. We’re left with the impression that these two really did need one another, but they didn’t necessarily want one another. They had one of those marriages that probably would have failed if these two people would have lived sixty years in the future. It seems as though, early on in their marriage, their romantic devotion dies. At one point, around 1918, Eleanor discovers her husband had been having an affair with Lucy Mercer. This news devastated her, as it should. What Eleanor did not know is that Franklin continued to have clandestine meetings with Ms. Mercer while President, even up until his death in 1945 (although many doubt that the relationships was anything more than a deep friendship). Such a relationship was possible because, well, Eleanor was never home. She was always out, on the road doing whatever she could for the cause. Truth be told, there seemed to be a lot of deep emotional attachments that both of them shared with other people. There’s even a hint that Eleanor was involved in a lesbian relationship with journalist Lorena Hickok. Although this was always speculative, most would agree that Hickok definitely did have romantic feelings for Eleanor, we just will never know whether or not such feelings were ever reciprocated.
So great leaders of a great country, they definitely were. As a leader of a normal household as husband and wife, not as much. We read a bit about the five Roosevelt children, and we’re left with the impression that growing up was a bit hard from an emotional perspective. None of the kids would live up to their parent’s legend, and between the five of them, they ended up with 19 marriages amongst them. Even when Eleanor is home in the White House, she and Franklin have separate bedrooms, and Franklin seems more chummy with selected members of his female staff (many reside in the White House as well), than the First Lady.
But these two soldiers lumber on, working tirelessly to the point of exhaustion. Oddly, FDR is nearly at death’s door as early as 1944, yet he still manages to win a fourth term as President. Not sure if that could happen in the 21st century with the internet and cable news. Sadly, Roosevelt finally does succumb to death a mere month from the allies victory in Europe, and it’s truly sad that he doesn’t live long enough to see one of his greatest triumphs of rallying a nation to defeat an evil deranged dictator.
I simply loved this book. Not once did I feel overwhelmed with detail about politics, policies, elections, or war time strategy. Doris Kearns Goodwin keeps things very simple, very concise, yet manages to be very thorough as well. I can’t seemed to ever recall when 600+ pages went by so quickly. A truly remarkable book about two of our greatest leaders that led the country during the most unordinary times of our nation’s history. Thank God.
Literally, Thank God.
When Hitler and the Nazi war machine start to invade and occupy one European country after the next, Great Britain stands alone against the Nazi hoard. The U.S. Congress is conservative; the country is isolationist with no standing army, no navy or air force and no stomach for what is going on in Europe. Added to that a deep distrust of how the U.S, was dragged into the Great War under President Woodrow
Wilson. And FDR has to figure out ways to help Britain, keep the country out of the war while realizing that having the buffers of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans isn't enough given the Axis powers and the Japanese.
The book proceeds chronologically. It is well researched covering not only national politics but describes in depth the "family" and personalities who lived at the White House in addition to FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt It is filled with anecdotes and facts about industries throughout the country, labor situations, racial divides, segregation, prejudice of other kinds, attitudes toward women including their place in the home, poverty, etc. And goes from chilling descriptions of the Great Depression's hold on people to the U.S.'s re-emergence as an industrial and military powerhouse.
This book won Doris Kearns Goodwin the Pulitzer Prize. It came before her book on Abraham Lincoln, "Team of Rivals" which I feel is superior to "No Ordinary Time," which I read recently for the second time. On a human level, it is fascinating exploring over time many
personalities, both public and private, revealing FDR's affair in 1918 with Lucy Mercer that almost destroyed the marriage between FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt, as well as her emergence both as a public figure in her own right and as an eye and ear for the President. I found it particularly engrossing once the American military entered the war full scale. It also is a fascinating evolving portrait of FDR himself and, to a somewhat lesser extent, Churchill. Others may find other more fascinating and compelling aspects to this story such as the tremendous emergence of women in the production of aircraft, tanks, munitions, battleships etc. or in integration of blacks and whites in the Army, Navy and Air Force.
This is a page turner, an utterly engrossing book that will fill you with awe and pride in an enormous story that will remain in your memory long after you've completed reading it. It is that good.
Recommended unqualifiedly. .