Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Review Date: 30 Jul 2014
Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt's marriage was indeed born out of love, but by the 1930s, it had become something of a partnership rather than something more intimate. With Franklin and Eleanor, the author Hazel Rowley set forth to explore their relationship in more depth, a topic which she believed was infrequently written about. While I believe she had failed to provide fresh analysis and failed to bring forth new information, she did succeed in drawing a picture of their achievements both individually and together, and presented each of their perspectives with minimal bias. Marguerite "Missy" Lehand, Lucy Rutherfurd, and the other women who played important parts of Franklin Roosevelt's life were all present in Rowley's cast of characters, but they played very small roles in this book, despite of their importance to Franklin Roosevelt's life, yielding more pages to Eleanor Roosevelt. Similarly, Eleanor Roosevelt's interests such as Lorena Hickok and David Gurewitsch took up less pages than what their actual importance to Eleanor Roosevelt might warrant, so to focus the book on the two title characters.
I had reviewed this title in its audio book format. Tavia Gilbert did a good job with the reading.
Although Franklin and Eleanor had disappointed me particularly after learning of the author's grand ambition as stated in the forward, stepping back a bit to look at the book as a whole, I still would have to say that it was a fine book. It would be interesting to re-visit some of the Roosevelt biographies that dove deeply into his personal life (Franklin and Lucy immediately came to mind) to see how they would compare to Franklin and Eleanor.
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General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944