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No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, The Home Front in World War II Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, CD
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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. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Goodwin's account of the Roosevelt presidency during WWII highlights America's changing domestic front.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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As far as the book is concerned, it's an impressive work. The magnitude of sources would have daunted a lesser writer to organize into a cohesive book. I felt that this was a clearly presented view of the personal and professional lives of the couple, presented without judgment or bias. Kearns Goodwin allows the reader to draw her own conclusions about what was admirable, or not, in these complex people. I read more than I wanted to about the US production of war materials, but the way FDR orchestrated the country's entrance into the war was fascinating, as was his vision of both it and the character of the American people, whom he never underestimated and rarely misjudged. I loved all the sections about his and Churchill's work together, and learned quite a bit about Russia and Stalin's roles in WWII.
It's so interesting to compare the political process then with our current extended, expensive way of reaching Presidential nominations by the parties. The remarkable achievements made by both Eleanor and Franklin come into clear focus, and are the more amazing for knowing how they accomplished what they did. My parents lived through those days of the Depression, WWII, and its aftermath. I'm glad to know more about what the country was like then. The connection of Eleanor's efforts on behalf of African Americans, especially but not exclusively within the military, with the later civil rights movement was clear. Likewise the formation of the UN, the creation of the GI Bill, and even the seeds of the Cold War are contained in this book. This is a dense read part of the time, but it contains so many illustrations of how these two flawed people worked together and separately that it's quite enjoyable most of the time. Many events are described from different viewpoints and in sufficient detail that one can imagine very well what the experiences were like. The account of FDR's death is so vivid that I could imagine the scramble at the cottages in Warm Springs, the passage of the funeral train back to DC, and the funeral and later burial as though I'd seen these things. Finally, the detailed look at the condition of the White House as it was presented to the Trumans just illustrates the focus of the Roosevelts on the country's needs over their personal living space. The image of rotting curtains speaks volumes as to our different First Ladies' priorities!
The book rivals my favorite biography of John Adams by David McCullough, but it'd be tough to say which is better. Kearns Goodwin's ability to give that "you were there" feeling is surely impressive. I've also received "Team of Rivals", and I look forward to delving into Lincoln's history soon.