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It's Up to the Women
Eleanor Roosevelt
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It's Up to the Women

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  320 ratings  ·  56 reviews
263 pages
Published 1933 by Frederick A. Stokes Company
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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Jessica Jeffers
I came to this in search of inspiration in a troubling time. This book offers an interesting glimpse into the realities of life during the Depression, and I enjoyed thinking about the bigger ideas--that women have a role to play in world--but I found that much of Eleanor's advice failed to translate to our modern situation as much as I'd hoped. Fine, but not extraordinary. ...more
One would not think that a book of advice written in 1933 would have relevance today. You think wrong. Eleanor Roosevelt’s first book, published for the millions of women struggling to keep home and family together during the ravages of the Great Depression, is full of advice that remains true today. Granted, some of the advice she provides is unique to the time period in which she was writing, and the references to Departments of Home Economics and the various menus they recommend have a charmi ...more
Reading this right before Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions was a very happy accident. They are both of their times, and along very similar lines. . .in a way. Adichie's is fiercer, and is more about equal gender roles shaping happy individuals who if truly equal will make for a happy living situation, while Roosevelt's is about making a happy family through compromise, and give and take. By so doing a happy living situation will result and ...more
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was Eleanor's first book, published in 1933. It is filled with a mix of long- term vision and knowledge of cultural transitions. What struck me most was her kind consideration for every person. Worth reading. My family and I are going to try the weeks worth of depression recipes. ...more
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful read about life geared toward women of all ages. Valuable, timeless advice on how to live, move and enjoy a balanced, healthy, content life. Thank you, Mrs. Roosevelt, for your legacy of words and actions.
Not what I was expecting. I think I was hoping for an inspiring feminist call-to-arms, not a detailed how-to guide for housewives surviving the Depression and war time. Still, there are gems here; you just have to dig for them and then view them through a 21st century lens.
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The poorer we are the more education we really need; and yet, of course, the poorer we are the less education we usually have, so poor people will often struggle blindly against conditions which they have no way of controlling."

"we have to develop ourselves to the maximum of our ability and our natural endowments."

"When we admit that one can not retrace one's steps and live life over again, we may accept the fact that we might as well savor it and enjoy it as we go along and not always be striv
Nov 18, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-to-read
This is a hard book to rate. I read some reviews that claim it is "timeless" and relevant even in our current day and age. I must say I disagree. This was written for a particular period and all the assumptions about life and gender that accompany that period are what shape these essays. I can't rate it high because I did not think highly of it, but I can't rate it low because it simply wasn't written for me. I love Eleanor Roosevelt and all she meant to women, but the reality is that this book ...more
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an interesting book because it can be taken in two ways. First it could have been used as Sage wisdom for women who were struggling during the Depression and struggling to take an active role outside of their homes. She was the first lady and she was saying it was okay to want to be more then your circumstances. She was also trying to tell the society as a whole that they could get past the war and depression and come out better on the other side if we work together and use common sense. ...more
Aug 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-rc, non-fiction
Eleanore Roosevelt has been advocating for equal pay for women since 1934! Definitely a first lady that is so ahead of her time. I would undoubtedly give this 5 stars if not for that reference of Asians as 'yellow races'. Yikes! ...more
Amber Spencer
Sep 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I love reading the words of this woman. Some parts I had to remind myself of the times she was speaking of, but many things she said were timeless.
Apr 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Well, it was written long ago, so some things are kind of, hmm, out of date duh lol but there are very good advices that you can use
This book of Eleanor Roosevelt's advice to women during the depression offers an interesting glimpse into what life was like during that time. It also shows what an intelligent, practical, and down-to-earth person she was. She was interested in everything and everyone around her. Her sage advice covered a wide-range of topics: how to handle the loss of income the Depression brought, husband-wife relationships, working women, budgeting, recipes, the importance of taking care of your health (sleep ...more
Tess Bandos
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was interesting to read that women are still experiencing the same problems as the ones described in this book which was written almost 100 years ago. Compared to some of the modern female empowerment books that I've read, this one is more of a how-to guide which was a fascinating take. ...more
Apr 12, 2020 rated it liked it
I picked up this book expecting something totally different than what I serendipitously stumbled into when I finally got around to reading this from my collection. In this short volume Eleanor Roosevelt imparts her Depression era wisdom to the reader on family life and civic duty. It is a thoroughly “difference Feminism” take - by that I mean Roosevelt asserts women are different from men but their differences should be embraced for all to prosper. Despite her record of working on behalf of raci ...more
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Picked this up after seeing a recommendation by Susan Page, and noting Jill Lepore's intro.

As Eleanor Roosevelt's first book- written at the start of FDR's presidency, it reflects a First Lady in the early transitions of what she would become, not the ER of her United Nations days toward the end of her life.

An easy read, some of the content is rooted in the context of the Depression (how to adjust to fewer servants, or working along side them; home ec recipes most of us would now avoid). Some c
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Written between January and March of 1933 - in the throes of the Great Depression and prior to WWII - Eleanor Roosevelt typed this remarkable book herself. While some of the info is dated, it is surprising relevant to today. Practical and philosophical, we meet a most remarkable Eleanor, working out her "own salvation" as she prepared for the role of First Lady, a role she never wanted. She includes daily menus - with recipes - for better family health in a time when money for food was unattaina ...more
May 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was tricky for me. The end of the book felt eerie--so much of what she was warning against and spurning women to do STILL HASN'T HAPPENED! Equal pay, appropriate family leave, women's disproportionate role in politics, our approach to having the VOTE, the role of work, our role in peace. I found her thoughts encouraging and inspiring to continue to press on. However, it was hard, because the beginning of the book seemed like a home economics lecture focusing on recipes and how to make frien ...more
Sue Jackson
Nov 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Eleanor Roosevelt was ahead of her time and was definitely able to put her thoughts into words. This book has moments that shine and are progressive like expecting women to be paid the same as men. There are also moments that are just about daily life as a wife. It provides a snapshot of what was expected in 1933. Despite the fact that so much in women's lives have changed since then, it is sad to know that so much remains the same. There is a simplicity and in her voice as she expresses her tho ...more
Kamila Jast
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I wish I had read this book and other by Eleanor Roosevelt when I was 20. Having read her * you learn by living* I was absolutely captivated by her life wisdom and intelligence. Having read * it’s up to the women* I am convinced that Eleanor is one of those women the world, and in particular other women, should have heard more about and from. She has been hugely underrated as educator and author, underestimated as a person of great ability and political and educational talent. She should not onl ...more
Sarah Vandekendelaere
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Though I do not agree with everything she writes, it is very interesting to see how she was dealing with the same things we are dealing with right now. Each generation likes to believe they reinvent the hot water, but reading this book, it is clear that minimalism, budgeting, environmentalism, racial issues and gender related struggles are as real today as they were a century ago. A lot can change in a century - and it has, luckily! - but many struggles are still being fought today.

This wasn't the book I thought it would be. It has sound enough advice for the most part, but rather stuck in the 30s. Keep a budget, make sure your children can provide basic medical care and hold a baby and heat up a can of soup before they leave the nest, don't make friendship a luxury you can't afford. There are even Depression era recipes that are dull as dishwater to hear aloud. What is great, though, is when she talks about how ordinary people's lives are so much more important than we th ...more
Valentina Matveeva
Dec 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I cant say i loved this book. There are a lot of sort of valuable information in there, yet it is not enough up to modern feminism standards. It seems like Eleanor, even though she has done so much for women liberation movement, more than I will ever do in my life time, still trying to justify the women right to be more than wife, still assigning domestic duties based on gender. I cant adapt her philosophy to my particular lifestyle, yet I can't just dismiss this work as not worthy. Educational ...more
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading Eleanor Roosevelt's advice to women, and feel some of her same perspectives could apply to women of today.

From budgeting (both monetary budgeting and budgeting of personal time), to running a household, working, politics, hobbies, and so much more, her insight gave women choices in how to manage their day-to-day life.

She was a strong woman, and mentored many women with positivity.
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is as interesting and incredible as ever. Many of the ideas, while seemingly archaic in some of its ideals, has many parallels to today’s world and political climate. I feel like Eleanor might be disappointed with us. We are still facing many similar predicaments which she lays out in the book with little to no progress. It makes me hopeful though. All true change needs hope and lots of hard work.
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eleanor Roosevelt was well ahead of her time. The book starts off a bit traditional and homely, which was kind of a turn-off. I kept on reading considering this was an early 1930s publication - it paid off. She started talking about matters that, to this day unfortunately, are still alive and well. It’s amazing to look at this book as a picture in time and see just how much we’ve accomplished, how we’ve sadly gone backwards in some things and how much there is left for us to do.
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s amazing how some things and ideas are timeless. While Eleanor’s tone is “old fashioned” and a definitely “dated”, her wisdom and advice is still relevant.
It feels even more timely as we too are going through a difficult time and changes, income and job losses. It shows that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Sadly, we are still quite far away from her visions of women as equal in the workforce and politics.
Marta Pona
May 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book surprised me, but in a good way. I read it with the purpose of understanding the lives of women in the 1930's and the book turned out to be full of great advice applicable to the present day. Writing at the height of the Great Depression, Roosevelt addressed the women of the time and highlighted their indispensable role in society. Roosevelt's voice of influence calls present-day women to uphold the highest standards of ethics within the family and their communities. ...more
Regina Mastrogiacomo
It seems that no matter what the same problems linger. Eleanor Roosevelt gave helpful hint to the women of her days how to contribute and help their country. I like the part of the book that talks about being thoughtful about how to spend money and save it, it remind me of the same suggestions given to us after the recession after 2007

It is a slower read, but still thought provoking.
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Pretty remarkable given when it was written (1933)! Important and fascinating commitments to fair labor practice, women’s fiscal responsibility and civic engagement. Only a few cringeworthy moments, but far more gems and apparently timeless struggles for women to be treated, viewed, and paid equally as contributing members of society.
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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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“It is important that women think beyond the mere moment through which we are passing and acquaint themselves with all phases of life and conditions in our own country. I think we shall have fulfilled our mission well if when our time comes to give up active wok in the world we can say we never saw a wrong without trying to right it; we never intentionally left unhappiness where a little effort would have turned it into happiness, and we were more critical of ourselves than we were of others.” 0 likes
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