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No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, The Home Front in World War II

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  19,429 Ratings  ·  1,000 Reviews
White House. Bringing to bear the tools of both history and biography, No Ordinary Time relates the unique story of how Franklin

Roosevelt led the nation to victory against seemingly insurmountable odds and, with Eleanor's essential help, forever

changed the fabric of American society.
Audio CD, 6 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published January 1st 1994)
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Matt
Doris Kearns Goodwin’s No Ordinary Time is an unusual World War II book. There are no descriptions of clashing armies, no in-depth armchair analyses of battlefield strategies, no biographical sketches of medal-bedecked generals moving their men like so many pawns. This is World War II as viewed from the American home front, and specifically through the eyes of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

No Ordinary Time begins in 1940, as Nazi Germany invades France, Luxembourg, and the Low Countries (endin
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Ed
Nov 08, 2009 Ed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with interest in recent American history.
Recommended to Ed by: The History Book Club
A truly memorable book. Doris Kearns Goodwin is a fine writer who manages to transform seemingly insignificant snippets of data into compelling reading.

This volume covers the period from May, 1939 to April, 1945 and focuses on what was going on in the U.S. through the actions and writings of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and others close to them. It truly deserves its Pulitzer Prize and the four or more other awards and accolades it garnered.

I consider myself reasonably knowledgeable about the
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Becky
Jun 30, 2009 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm reminded of the saying, "If you want to learn something, read non-fiction." I am learning the answers to questions I didn't know I had. "Exactly how did the internment of the Japanese get started? When were land mines invented? What was Eleanor Roosevelt really like?" It was around this time that Executive Order 8802 came about, with the wording we are all so used to: discrimination is banned on grounds of "race, color, creed, or national origin." The national origin part was added because t ...more
Markus Molina
Remind me to never read a book this big in the middle of a busy school semester!

Throughout the book, I found myself slightly disappointed by FDR. He isn't lovable or heroic and there are times that I really question his integrity, especially in his relationships and his resistance to stepping down after his first two terms. So although the book is thorough and full of information and anecdotes, and although there are lots of things to point to that he did well, I find I cannot give it a higher r
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Graham Shelby
Sep 17, 2013 Graham Shelby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I took a long time reading this book because it was like time travel, like seeing into the past. NO ORDINARY TIME is a marvelously researched and rendered account of perhaps the most important and influential marriage in American history. Franklin and Eleanor's relationship is fascinating, so complicated and extraordinary, and yet so human, and in its own way, familiar.

Eleanor, to her eternal credit and the benefit of our country, was a tireless champion for women and African-Americans and the
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Steve
Aug 10, 2016 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
https://bestpresidentialbios.com/2016...

Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “No Ordinary Time: Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II" was published in 1994 and won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1995. Goodwin is an author and presidential historian whose has written about Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, LBJ, Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.

This 636 page book is meticulously researched, fact-filled and essentially a hybrid literary construct: it is part history text
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Nancy (NE)
This is one of those books you mourn the ending of. What a phenomenal read. This book is both a biographical look at Franklin and Eleanor's relationship and history framed by the unique marriage that was the Roosevelts.

It was fascinating to delve a bit deeper in Franklin's handling of WWII, his manipulating of politics by waiting for the right timing in public opinion, his relationship with Churchill, building the United Nations, and the far reaching effects of the Yalta Conference. People will
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Amy
Feb 18, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Through No Ordinary Time, I loved learning more about the U.S. home front during WWII and the impact FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt made on the nation as President and First Lady. WWII was such a catalytic time in our nation's history. When Hitler was invading much of Europe prior to U.S. engagement in the war, our military ranked 17th or 18th in the world as a result of an isolationist policy felt in Congress and throughout the nation. (Many Americans thought that the oceans dividing us from Europe ...more
Sherri
Jun 23, 2015 Sherri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
Goodwin has to be the best non-fiction writer I have ever read. This is the second book I have listened to of hers, and I am in awe of her talent for writing and telling a story. She takes subjects that have been written about thousands of times, and makes them gripping and new.

In this book, Goodwin focuses on the American home front during WWII and some of the most visible, unique personalities who shaped the times, including, of course, FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt. Through her words, the reader
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Max
Dec 11, 2013 Max rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-history
No Ordinary Time provides an intimate view of Franklin and Eleanor’s unique relationship, one more of a working partnership than a traditional marriage. Written in a somewhat gossipy style, at times resembling a society page column with its homey details, Goodwin digs deep into the character of the Roosevelt’s. Focusing on the rights of minorities, women and workers, she chronicles the dramatic social changes of the period.

Goodwin presents the attitudes and situations of people in 1940, which w
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Dan
Mar 17, 2013 Dan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have never been a big history buff. Growing up I thought my lack of interest was because history is about learning dates and facts and I was more interested in understanding the relationships between things and why they are the way they are. A great professor in college showed me that history can be fascinating if approached with a view of understanding the relationships that caused events to unfold the way they did. I now enjoy history when presented in this way.

I started to read Goodwin's Te
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Randy Endemann
May 01, 2008 Randy Endemann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a marathon of a book that I found difficult to put down. Goodwin's depiction of the Roosevelt's during WWII takes on a very narrow timeline that unfolds week by week. Her knowledge of the subject becomes clear in her attention to detail. It is not nearly a chronological history, it is more of a personal portrait which explores the emotions, motivations, and fears of America's greatest president, and those around him.

History has afforded us perspective that the subjects of the book lacked
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Judy
Nov 22, 2008 Judy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. I'm fascinated by the changing social attitudes and conditions during World War II in the United States. I'm also captivated by the personalities of both Franklin Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor and so I was a happy camper while reading this book. It is a detailed examination of the marriage of Franklin and Eleanor and their ability to overcome emotional distance to create a unique partnership. Both realized that the United States could not emerge from the war if it was a unifie ...more
Clif Hostetler
Jul 10, 2013 Clif Hostetler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
It doesn't see that long ago that I read this. But I haven't found a review in my Goodreads.com folder, so it must have been prior to my Goodreads.com membership era. I was reminded of the book because it is the featured review on my PageADay Book Lover's Calendar for today. Below is the review from the calendar:
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American heroes such as Franklin Delano Roosevelt can be so lionized that they cease to resemble living, fallible human beings. Doris Kearns Goodwin doesn’t make that mistake
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Suzanne
Mar 04, 2008 Suzanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Doris Kearns Goodwin. This is by far the very best book (in my opinion) on what it was like to live here in The States during the Second World War. She describes the relationship between Franklin & Eleanor in human terms; their incredible political partnership existing within the tragedy of their lonely, asexual marriage, Eleanor's female attachments and Franklin's renewed relationship with Lucy Mercer. The descriptions of Winston Churchill's visits to the White House and his wanderin ...more
Doreen Petersen
Aug 15, 2015 Doreen Petersen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii, history
What a magificent book! Kudos to the author. Extremely well-written. Absolutely loved it and would recomend it to all.
Lightreads
What it says on the tin – 800 pages on Eleanor and Franklin, personal and political, from 1940-1945. The thing that's good about it is the same thing that's frustrating: this is a book about their marriage, their friends, the war, race relations, the rise of organized labor, the new women's workforce, etc. etc. So it's wide-ranging and densely woven, but because it's so diverse, it occasionally lacks cohesion and true depth. Her Team of Rivals did better, there.

Also, I was quite put off by the h
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Mary Etta
Apr 25, 2009 Mary Etta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
By "Team of Rivals" author, Doris Kearns Goodwin. This was a book-on-tape read begun when driving south to St. George before Easter.

Set in a time of my childhood it enhanced memories of ration books, victory gardens, fighter planes overhead, blackouts, my mother knitting socks for soldiers, FDR and Eleanor. While listening to the last chapter I decided to go online and pull up photos of Eleanor whose image in my mind had been one of a tall, rather unattractive woman. Seeing the beautiful photos
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Melissa
Aug 28, 2015 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
No Ordinary Time is so deserving of all the praise it's received, including the Pulitzer Prize. It's truly an enthralling read, bringing the Roosevelts and those surrounding them to life and painting an incredibly vivid portrait of the WWII years in the White House and in the country as a whole. The great, sweeping saga of that time in history is there, but so are myriad small, well-chosen details that make FDR and Eleanor real living, breathing human beings.

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a fabulous wr
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Matthew Bartlett
In my opinion, this is one of the best books if not the best book Doris Kearns Goodwin has ever written. After reading this book, Goodwin became one of my favorite historians. When I read the opening of this book, I literally felt I was walking beside President Roosevelt and Eleanor. This is a great read, informative and engaging. You will not want to put it down. You follow FDR from the end of his second term to his controversial running for a third term to entering WWII to his death. You learn ...more
Carol
Jun 03, 2012 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Roosevelt's were larger than life people yet were very human. They were the center of the pivotal years of the 20 th century. Kerns is a wonderful writer who is able to teach and still write a book that is hard to put down.
Judee
Jan 30, 2011 Judee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Makes you wonder at times if Eleanor Roosevelt was more important and more insightful than FDR.
Nick
Jun 30, 2016 Nick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Three books in one: a bio of FDR, a bio of ER, and a high-level account of homefront economics. To me, it's a useful companion to the "The Good War" by Terkel and Pogue's massive biography of Marshall. Entertaining and well-researched. Gives a solid portrait of the strengths and weaknesses of a remarkable married couple - one partner one of the top two of all US presidents, and the other a woman far ahead of her time. The flap over the unattributed use of a source should not deter the curious re ...more
Jake Danishevsky
Sep 03, 2015 Jake Danishevsky rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-politics, own
Even though a very well written recount of historical significance and a well described detail of FDR presidency, one cannot ignore how the author, throughout the book and in her own recap, praises many policies and decisions that eventually, and not that long after they were passed, proved to be failed outcomes. Even though done with good intentions, big government, handshake that new deal created for business, expansion of unions and government to "work hand in hand" with free market via socia ...more
Audrey Zhang
Dec 29, 2014 Audrey Zhang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Goodwin did it again by packing an enormous amount of information into a very readable biography. FDR's presidency was no doubt a pivotal time in american history - from domestic policies to foreign influences, from social welfare to civil rights. I have always wondered - would the Greatest Generation - as historians call the generation which survived the Great Depression and the two world wars - have been as "great", had it not been FDR's leadership? At the same time, could FDR have achieved as ...more
Caroline
It is easy to see why this book won the Pulitzer Prize: there can surely be no better examination of the American home-front during World War II: its slow adjustment from isolation to dedicated involvement, the adjustment of the economy and business from the Depression to a war footing, the social progress made by women and African-Americans and the disgraceful treatment of Japanese-Americans.

Goodwin demonstrates just how entwined were the endeavours of the soldiers at the battlefront and the do
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Jean Poulos
I have been trying to clear my wish list of some books that have been there since the beginning of the year. A number on the list including this one I have kept postponing reading because they are so long. This book is about 40 hours.

Goodwin sets out to tell the history of 1940 to 1945 through the lives of the Roosevelt’s and those who occupied the White House with them at a time when that building functioned more as a dormitory for famous personages than the President’s official residence. Gue
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Kaye Stambaugh
Apr 20, 2014 Kaye Stambaugh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a wonderfully informative book. I expected a history lesson of America during WWII and got so much more. The Roosevelt’s were great partners, "Eleanor as the agitator and Franklin as the politician". The change in American culture during this time was phenomenal. The strides made in civil rights, the introduction of Affirmative Action (including trivia on how ‘national origin’ was added to ‘color, race, sex and religion’) were just two of the major swings in attitude.

African-Americans
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Cindy
Oct 05, 2010 Cindy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I purchased it after visiting the Roosevelt homes in Hyde Park, NY and had a really hard time putting it down. It's a LONG book so I read it for many weeks.

I thought I knew the history of the US pretty well but a lot of what I read startled me. I had no idea that racism was so pervasive in our culture then. I was struck by how the arguments that were used THEN to keep society segregated by race are so similar to the ones used today to discriminate against gays. Before the end
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Amy Moritz
Sep 22, 2011 Amy Moritz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took me 16 months to finish this book so yes, I feel a sense of triumph. But please do not form any opinion over the quality of the book with my inability to stay focused while reading it. I adore Doris Kearns Goodwin. Her writing is interesting and accessible. It is also detailed and thick and at times I became distracted by something shinny (oh look! A new Jen Lancaster book!) or simply didn't feel up to the level of Doris and the Roosevelts. This book which explores relationships of all ki ...more
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  • Eleanor Roosevelt: Vol 2, The Defining Years, 1933-38
  • Eleanor and Franklin
  • Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  • The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope
  • Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship
  • Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945
  • Means of Ascent (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, #2)
  • Parting the Waters: Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement 1954-63
  • Franklin and Lucy
  • Present at the Creation: My Years in the State Department
  • Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years
  • Truman
  • Woodrow Wilson: A Biography
  • Eisenhower: Soldier and President
  • Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-45
  • The Americans, Vol. 3: The Democratic Experience
  • The Glory and the Dream: A Narrative History of America 1932-72
  • The Roosevelt Women: A Portrait In Five Generations
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Also credited as "Doris Kearns" on the first editions of Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream.
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“We do not have to become heroes overnight,” Eleanor once wrote. “Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appears, discovering that we have the strength to stare it down.” 2 likes
“She feared that she would become a slave to superficial, symbolic duties.” 1 likes
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