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You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life
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You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  583 ratings  ·  100 reviews
Mrs. Roosevelt expresses her philosophy of life by relating the experiences which have enabled her to cope with personal and public responsibilities.
Paperback, 211 pages
Published May 1st 2009 by Westminster John Knox Press (first published January 28th 1960)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,677)
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Melissa Baggett
In this book, Eleanor Roosevelt outlines eleven actions that each person must take in order to lead a fulfilling life. They are as follows:
1. Learning to Learn--This first key makes the others possible. A fulfilled person must be curious and must learn to use his or her mind as a tool to understand and influence the world. Roosevelt insists that beyond discipline and training, a sense that life is an adventure makes people not only willing but passionate to learn about themselves, their fellow h...more
Heather
Apr 03, 2008 Heather rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Any woman who would like to learn from an extraordinary woman.
I loved, loved, loved this book. I felt this book is a rare gem that few people know about. It was like listening to a wise grandma casting her pearls of wisdom that are still very applicable today. The thing I loved the most is that I think anyone could relate to Eleanor Roosevelt! She was an extraordinary woman, yet so ordinary(like you and me) at the same time.
This is one that I will definitely read again.
Carol
In just 11 chapters, Eleanor shares with us her own interpretation of the basic philosophy of life. She believes that her basic philosophy is best expressed in the choices one makes daily. She discusses fear, a stumbling block, the great crippler, is something we all face. She stated "Looking back, it strikes me that my childhood and my early youth were one long battle against fear." She realized that "the danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it. If you f...more
Lindsay
This book was ok. I didn't find it super life changing or anything. Its a pretty simple basic book, targets to the point where we should learn as much as we can, and face our fears, and try new things. Thats what I like about Eleanor Roosevelt. What I've read about her, it seems as if she was a shy girl, but as she got older, she wanted to learn as much as she could and do new things and stop being afraid of things. Basically she lived her life.
Amanda
Eleanor Roosevelt was an extraordinary woman. I feel fortunate to have gotten to know her a little more through her book. This book is broken into eleven key chapters.
1 - Learning to Learn
2 - Fear: The Great Enemy
3 - The Uses of Time
4 - The Difficult Art of Maturity
5 - Readjustment is Endless
6 - Learning to be Useful
7 - The Right to be an Individual
8 - How to Get the Best out of People
9 - Facing Responsibility
10 - How Everyone can Take Part in Politics
11 - Learning to be a Public Servant

The over...more
Marisa
Eleanor Roosevelt is definitely one of my biggest historical heroes, but I have to say that I would not necessarily recommend this book. The 21st century reader has to take everything with a grain of salt given the time period it was written in, which is only to be expected, however I felt that even the core messages of the chapters (which are largely still applicable today) are not written in a way that is particularly engaging or interesting-- and for a woman who did so much, one would think s...more
Miz Lizzie
So interesting on so many different levels. The book serves as a self-help manual, a memoir, a textbook on good citizenship and how to become a public servant, a source of small meaningful stories and inspirational tidbits, and a historical document. Written at the end of her life, Eleanor Roosevelt embraced her role as Elder and Public Servant to write a book summarizing the greatest lessons of her life to share with others. In brief, make deliberate effort to overcome your fears, small and lar...more
Dionne
Sep 17, 2014 Dionne rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Dionne by: Kelli Wick
"Surely, in the light of history, it is more intelligent to hope rather than to fear, to try rather than not to try. For one thing we know beyond all doubt: Nothing has ever been achieved by the person who says, 'It can't be done'"

I loved this book, it was amazing. A friend was reading it and was inspired, and so she bought the book for me as well. Eleanor gives a lot of great advice. Some of what she said I've heard other places, but the way she said things inspired me.

The chapter on fear was w...more
Sarah
I was surprised that I didn't enjoy this book more than I did. I found myself frequently saying YES! That's true! but what would have been quite controversial in 1962 seems rather mundane now. I found her writing style to be a bit arrogant or patronizing (which is hardly surprising given the life she led - she's earned the right to speak authoritatively but somehow, it just rubbed me the wrong way) and at times, the writing seemed very dated to me. I'd really like to read her autobiography - I t...more
Josilyn
WOW. Although written in 1960, this book still resounds with relevance today, and it should be required reading for every young adult who wants to know how to make the most of life. If students had to read this in high school, I believe that an entire generation would benefit and be better people as a result. Many of the values put forth in this book are ones that are prone to be forgotten in this day and age, but they should not be. Most likely this will be one of the 5 most influential books I...more
Kirstin
From an academic standpoint I would give this book a 3 stars. She is constantly stating her opinion as absolute statements--some of which I didn't entirely agree. She doesn't defend her opinions and sentiments very well sometimes and for that I just thought the academic aspects of the book were "okay".

From a personal standpoint, I thought the book was a 5 stars. Perhaps because the book is a little outdated, I felt like I was reading counsel from my grandmother. She is a moral person and speaks...more
Sarah
This book had a lot of insights that overlapped with more recent advice/psychology books I've read, such as Gordon Livingston's Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart. It talkes about integrity, determination, and taking responsibility for yourself, and is remarkably currently for a book written in 1960 by someone born in 1884. I enjoyed the stories about her childhood and her husband, FDR.
Jacqueline
Eleanor Roosevelt was an amazing inspiration. Her words of wisdom are just as true today as they were in 1960. Some of my favorite quotes from this book:

"Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run, it is easier."

"To leave the world richer--that is the ultimate success."

"learn to concentrate, to give all your attention to the thing at hand.."

"nothing ever happens to us except what happens in our minds. Unhappiness is an inward, not an outward, thing...Consider the truly happy peop...more
Rebecca Waring-Crane
Just delightful. While some observation or advice is very particular to the time, most of it is timeless. The passages worth remembering or referencing later filled three typed pages. Fear -- the Great Enemy; The Uses of Time; The Art of Maturity; Readjustment is Endless; The right to BE an Individual were chapters I found ripe with wisdom.

"I never can understand why so many people are afraid to live their own lives as they themselves think is right. You can get rid of your neighbors but you can...more
Danica
A book to keep by your bedside and read a page or two before you go to sleep.
Inspirational, keeping us on the right path
Allie Smith
It was a pretty good book & an easy read. Her 11 "rules" are logical and her explanation of them, plausible. They also stand the test of time! She was apparently a pioneer of the "Self-help movement." Although, I believe this would appall her…she was not a fan of psychiatry or therapy. Interestingly, all rules are still applicable to our world today.

Her style is a little dated...even if you didn't know WHO wrote it, you would know it was from a different generation and a different time peri...more
Stephanie Blake
Eleanor Roosevelt was a remarkable woman - dedicated to her husband, her country and public service. She wrote several books, but as this one was written late in her life - at the age of seventy-six - she had acquired experiences that enabled her to give good advice for those who want to live a full life. The high premium she placed on learning is a great example for us all.

She was very honest in her assessment of herself. She shared many instances of how others taught her the value of learning...more
Eleanor
I'm loving this short read by a fellow member of team Eleanor. It's filled with very sincere anecdotes from her life, largely in response to the letters she received asking for advice about life in general. There are some fantastic stories and pieces of advice that, though they come from someone two generations removed (or three?) the core of the message is timeless. There's one great story about "time wasters" that had me laughing out loud on the plane. Just when you think Eleanor is going to g...more
Becky Hirtzel
What a delightful book! I wish I lived during the same time as this remarkable woman! I smiled often while reading this book she wrote in 1960. In many ways she was way ahead of her time. Then there were also those occasional funny sentences that tell you this book wasn't written in the 21st century. In her day she was a vocal advocate for women and minorities. She has powerful advice for parenting children who will become strong, capable, thinking citizens of the world. A wonderful book.
Kris Irvin
I love this book. It was fantastic. I love Eleanor Roosevelt. I wasn't really familiar with her before I read this, so reading it was kind of educational in lots of different ways

Eleanor's keys for a fulfilling life are beautifully done. Service, kindness, good citizenship are all included in her thoughts. I'm kind of feeling that this one should be required reading for college age kids. Just before they go out into the big world, they read this book to show them how to live in a way that will...more
Susan
I've loved Eleanor Roosevelt ever since I was a kid. I did a book report on her in 5th grade. This book is even better than I had imagined. She was a remarkable, humble, genuinely kind and compassionate person, who overcame many obstacles and became one of the world's greatest humanitarians. I highly recommend this book, and wish it were required reading for all students....everywhere!
Annette
Written in 1960, much of Eleanor Roosevelt's advice applies today just as much as it did 54 years ago. As a Baby Boomer, I lived through some of the years she spoke about, therefore can relate and I imagine today she would be right into all of our technology and learning. I value her wisdom and think it's an "evergreen" book.
Braeden Udy
This book is as if the wisest person you know sat down and wants to share with you their secret to a fulfilling life. Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady and human rights champion, is truly learned and insightful. This book is for anyone who wants to improve, and I strongly recommend it!
Stacy
I knew and still, in many ways, know very little about Eleanor Roosevelt. She wrote this book only a few years before she died and in it she chronicles what the many years of her life taught her. She covers a variety of topics: learning, fear, using your time, maturity, readjustments, usefulness, individuality, getting the best out of people, responsibility, politics participation, and being a public servant. This book holds up remarkably well and many of the affairs of the world are eeerily rel...more
Mary
The sage advice of Eleanor Roosevelt makes this book so worth the read. I would recommend it to anyone young or old who is interested in the wisdom she offers on eleven important area of life such as dealing with fear, maturity, readjustments in life, responsibility, being a good citizen and more.
For someone born after Eleanor Roosevelt's time, the book gave me wonderful insight into her beliefs and character, as well as her life. Written in 1960, just two years before she passed away, it is de...more
Laura
It was interesting to read the former First Lady's perspectives on how to lead a productive, worthwhile life. Her writing style is simple and direct (so yes, sometimes a little dry for me). Her wisdom, gained by her broad life experience and no-nonsense approach, is evident on every page.
Rachael Knudsen
This book ought to be on every American home book shelf. Brimming with wisdom and effectual lessons from living life day to day in chapters, such as: Learning to Learn, The Difficult Art of Maturity, The Right to Be an Individual, How to Get the Best out of People, Readjustment is Endless, Learning to Be a Public Servant, etc. This book put life on hold for a minute with nostalgic lessons from Mrs. Roosevelt's life. Really enjoyed her refreshing take on giving yourself permission to embrace expe...more
L
Patronizing and full of personal opinions stated as blanket facts. Possible that it seemed particularly bad because it's dated? Fascinating woman, but boorish book.
Jeff
Aug 08, 2013 Jeff added it
I was initially attracted to the title of the book and the author's life in public service. Although those are important points the content of the book stands up for itself. Unfortunately I did not read this book years ago so I've kind of picked up on many of the points that our previous First Lady shared. There is nothing ground shaking in this book but for me a lot of reaffirmation of stuff that Ive already encountered and am still trying to internalize so I can live better. There were no real...more
Whitney
Eleanor Roosevelt is quite the writer. There are gems in this book.
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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was an American political leader who used her influence as an active First Lady from 1933 to 1945 to promote the New Deal policies of her husband, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as taking a prominent role as an advocate for civil rights. After her husband's death in 1945, she continued to be an internationally prominent author and speaker for the New Deal coalition...more
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“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” 5592 likes
“It's your life-but only if you make it so.” 241 likes
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