Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 3

The War Years and After, 1939-1962

Publisher: Viking
One of the New York Times's 100 Notable Books of 2016
One of NPR's 10 Best Books of 2016

"Heartachingly relevant...the Eleanor Roosevelt who inhabits these meticulously crafted pages transcends both first-lady history and the marriage around which Roosevelt scholarship has traditionally pivoted." -- The Wall Street Journal

The final volume in the definitive biography of America's greatest first lady.


 “Monumental and inspirational…Cook skillfully narrates the epic history of the war years… [a] grand biography.” -- The New York Times Book Review


Historians, politicians, critics, and readers everywhere have praised Blanche Wiesen Cook’s biography of Eleanor Roosevelt as the essential portrait of a woman who towers over the twentieth century. The third and final volume takes us through World War II, FDR’s death, the founding of the UN, and Eleanor Roosevelt’s death in 1962. It follows the arc of war and the evolution of a marriage, as the first lady realized the cost of maintaining her principles even as the country and her husband were not prepared to adopt them. Eleanor Roosevelt continued to struggle for her core issues—economic security, New Deal reforms, racial equality, and rescue—when they were sidelined by FDR while he marshaled the country through war. The chasm between Eleanor and Franklin grew, and the strains on their relationship were as political as they were personal. She also had to negotiate the fractures in the close circle of influential women around her at Val-Kill, but through it she gained confidence in her own vision, even when forced to amend her agenda when her beliefs clashed with government policies on such issues as neutrality, refugees, and eventually the threat of communism. These years—the war years—made Eleanor Roosevelt the woman she became: leader, visionary, guiding light. FDR’s death in 1945 changed her world, but she was far from finished, returning to the spotlight as a crucial player in the founding of the United Nations.

This is a sympathetic but unblinking portrait of a marriage and of a woman whose passion and commitment has inspired generations of Americans to seek a decent future for all people. Modest and self-deprecating, a moral force in a turbulent world, Eleanor Roosevelt was unique.

PRAISE FOR

"A monumental biography [and] an exhilarating story, as well as undeniably melancholy one. In her relentless efforts to push American democracy to fulfill its promises, Eleanor Roosevelt was ahead of her time. . . . It's not at all clear that we have yet caught up to her."—Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air/NPR

“Monumental and inspirational . . . Cook skillfully narrates the epic history of the war years. . . . It’s a tribute to Cook’s rich portrait that after three enormous volumes I still wanted to know more.”—The New York Times Book Review

"Reads like the great history that it is."—San Francisco Chronicle

“Outstanding . . . A winning concluding volume in a series that does for Eleanor Roosevelt what Robert Caro has done for Lyndon Johnson.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

"Magisterial . . . Cook captures the headlong energy of those years perfectly. Readers will encounter in these pages an intimate, touchingly human Eleanor Rooseveltan icon they can both admire and genuinely like."
—Christian Science Monitor

"Superb. . . Cook skillfully weaves her subject's active and emotional life among friends and family members into the depiction of her public role."
—Publishers Weekly , boxed review

"Highly readable and richly detailed...Cook succeeds in demonstrating how Eleanor’s political ideas regarding human rights, economic insecurity, and the plight of refugees echo today."
—Library Journal

Praise for Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume One

“Impassioned and sensitive, tender and angry . . . spirited and absorbing.”
—The New York Times Book Review

"A first rate biography of America's most fascinating and influential political woman." —Jill Ker Conway

Praise for Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume Two

“Irresisibly readable . . . definitive.”
—The Washington Post