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No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II

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No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II [Paperback]

Doris Kearns Goodwin
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (982 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 1, 1995
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History, No Ordinary Time is a monumental work, a brilliantly conceived chronicle of one of the most vibrant and revolutionary periods in the history of the United States.

With an extraordinary collection of details, Goodwin masterfully weaves together a striking number of story lines—Eleanor and Franklin’s marriage and remarkable partnership, Eleanor’s life as First Lady, and FDR’s White House and its impact on America as well as on a world at war. Goodwin effectively melds these details and stories into an unforgettable and intimate portrait of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt and of the time during which a new, modern America was born.

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Editorial Reviews Review

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.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (October 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684804484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684804484
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (982 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No ordinary book, either February 28, 2015
By Clem
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When Franklin Roosevelt was the President of the United States, he would sometimes deliver speeches to the American people via radio that he dubbed “Fireside Chats”. His idea was to give a talk to the American people, from time to time, about relevant current events in a language that the people could truly understand. He didn’t want to overwhelm them with government jargon, nor get technical with the comings and goings of the country. He wished to simply talk to the people so that they would have a full, rich understanding of whatever was his topic of the chat. I mention this as I begin my review of this book because this seems the overall goal of author Doris Kearns Goodwin as well. She doesn’t set out to overburden the reader with masses of detail, she simply sets out to tell a wonderful, absorbing story.

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.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Ordinary Book October 28, 2015
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I first became familiar with Doris Kearns Goodwin through her television appearances as a Presidential historian. I'd long admired the Roosevelts, and ordered this book to learn more about them. I still admire them, but I found the insights into their personalities somewhat surprising. I already knew that FDR had been unfaithful, but learning of his peculiar ways of handling people that he had issues with was confusing. I was also not impressed by knowing how Mrs. Roosevelt dealt with people and I came away feeling glad that I wasn't closely related to her. But she had so many pressures starting with her mother in law's treatment of her, to FDR's polio, his affair, her recurring depression, plus several betrayals by other friends and family that it's amazing she did anything. It's also a shame that this couple didn't seem to understand one another that well, yet were sometimes each other's rock. The people with whom they worked, and/or had personal relationships with, were really interesting to learn about--as was FDR's rather cavalier disregard of their needs.
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read--well-written, fascinating, and detailed January 13, 2017
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a great book in the DKG tradition. It helps to be a history buff to enjoy it since it is full of politics and discussions of policies and administration. The Eleanor and Franklin story will probably already be known to readers who pick this book up, but the detailed analysis of how the country geared up for WWII is not so well known and is well-portrayed here. A surprising and real strength of the book is how the author wove in the twin threads of race relations and gender issues throughout the narrative without making them seem pasted in. (It's disconcerting to realize how far we have not come regarding race and women since the days of the Roosevelts). The book inspired me to visit Campobello Island in Canada and the Roosevelt Memorial in the D.C.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A Disappointment on Many Levels! April 17, 2017
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A disappointing abridgment to a truly exceptional book. Years ago I enjoyed the unabridged recording of this book, which focused on the American home front during the war and was filled with fascinating details about the war effort. This audio book, however, spends a considerable amount of time giving both FDR's and Eleanor's person biographies, as well as going on and on about their relationships with friends and family. Not only is this dull, but any reader can find that information elsewhere. It's really a shame the editors who abridged the book didn't cut out all the biographical anecdotes and focus on the more interesting stories about how Americans dealt with the demands of the war, both in the home and at work. If you get a chance, either read the book itself or look for the unabridged audio book. I cannot recommend this version at all.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great road trip cd
Played this on a 700 mile road trip. It is excellent, totally up to Doris Kearns Goodwin's usual standard. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Sheila
5.0 out of 5 stars Far from ordinary history
This is an exceptional book about an amazing time, and two people who influenced our world today. Brava, Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Published 15 days ago by Carla S. Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok...but not as good as other kerns/Godwin books
Reads like a required text book.way more detail than necessary..
Published 23 days ago by Rhoda Galvani
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you!
Thank you, this was a great gift!
Published 1 month ago by Ryan
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Not the same edition I received. Not as described
Published 1 month ago by Brett Owens
5.0 out of 5 stars Doris Kearns Goodwin is undeniably a first rate writer. ...
Doris Kearns Goodwin is undeniably a first rate writer. She turns history into a page turning book while accurately portraying events and the people who participated in them. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jane Cantor
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved this book. All of Doris Goodwin's books are so well done !
Published 1 month ago by Barent
5.0 out of 5 stars Great historic read
I was totally enthralled with this book - couldn't put it down
Published 1 month ago by Leslie A.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I learned so much about the war years.
Published 1 month ago by Rosie
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