Monday, August 25, 2008

No Ordinary Time

Okay, I know...another biography. I admit I'm hooked. I actually started reading this book about 10 years ago but it just didn't grab me. So, after all this time I decided to give it another try and I'm glad I did. It was well worth the investment of time and effort (all 635 pages). Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals) is a clear and concise writer and, in this case has written a compelling and informative story, subtitled, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II.
As a child growing up in post- WWII America, the nation was still basking in the afterglow of the FDR presidency. It was a time of great national pride and growing prosperity after winning "the war". Although FDR had died in 1945 during his fourth term in office (can you imagine if we had GWB around that long?!!), his legacy was (and is) legion. Eleanor Roosevelt also remained a popular and much admired public figure, often appearing on television (a new media source in the 50s) to make public service announcements. After reading this book I have a much greater understanding of what it must have been like to have lived during "the war" and some of this nations darkest hours. I also gained a deeper appreciation for the contributions and sacrifices made by both Franklin and Eleanor during this critical and historic time. Franklin, an eternal optimist and Eleanor, a poster-child for civil rights and social justice, formed an unlikely, yet powerful partnership.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about America's role in WWII. In summary, Doris Kearns Goodwin writes, "the Roosevelt years had witnessed the most profound social revolution in the country since the Civil War- nothing less than the creation of modern America.


Becky said...

You do love your biographies! This sounds like a great one!

Dave said...

I was conflicted while reading this bio because this husband and wife team were so contradictory, both in their personal styles while addressing favorite issues and with each other as a team. There is also a great deal of personal correspondence to draw on and I tired a little of some of the comments. However, it was a pivotal time in our country's history and they had a profound effect on the country's navigation of issues in the '30s and '40s. It's an excellent source for understanding why our government and society are as they are today. It's a direct outcome of those times and their actions.