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

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  38,076 ratings  ·  1,299 reviews
Winner of the Pulitzer for History, No Ordinary Time is a chronicle of one of the most vibrant & revolutionary periods in US history. With an extraordinary collection of details, Goodwin weaves together a number of story lines—the Roosevelt’s marriage & partnership, Eleanor’s life as First Lady, & FDR’s White House & its impact on America as well as on a world ...more
Paperback, First Touchstone Edition, 633 pages
Published October 1st 1995 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1994)
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Joy Baas At first I thought it was a horrible betrayal of her mother, but then I remembered how Eleanor tolerated and even encouraged his relationship with…more At first I thought it was a horrible betrayal of her mother, but then I remembered how Eleanor tolerated and even encouraged his relationship with Missy because she was able to calm him and provide the companionship that Eleanor couldn't. Anna was simply doing the same thing. It was FDR who had betrayed Eleanor by resuming this relationship that he'd sworn to end. So, to answer the question, I think I would also have allowed my father that measure of comfort.
As for whether it was honorable, only FDR would know. Did he provide reciprocal companionship to a grieving, widowed, friend, or did she stroke his ego - and maybe other things. (less)

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Matt
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 (ending the so
...more
Ed
Oct 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
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Becky
May 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Steve
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 who 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 and part dual-biograp
...more
Graham Shelby
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Markus Molina
Oct 03, 2014 rated it liked it
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 i
...more
Susan O
No Ordinary Time is a unique blend of biography and WWII history from the US perspective. Many biographies have been written about both Eleanor and Franklin, so as in Team of Rivals and The Bully Pulpit, Goodwin chose to take a different approach. She does an excellent job and pulls it off beautifully.

The book covers primarily the years 1941 through 1945, the time that the United States is involved in WWII. However, she gives sufficient background information on both FDR and ER as well as the lead up to the
...more
Joseph Sciuto
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Doris Kearns Goodwin's "No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front In World War II" is no ordinary book. In fact, it is great... And to drive the point, even further, let me repeat that it is GREAT.

Mrs. Goodwin is an American treasure, her contributions as a historian are extraordinary. Whether she is dissecting Lincoln's Presidency in "Team of Rivals" or Teddy Roosevelt's friendship and rivalry with President Taft in "The Bully Pulpit" or her heartwarming tribu
...more
Diane S ☔
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5000-2019, lor-2019
Thoughts soon.
Nancy
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Max
Nov 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Susan in NC
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I read this book about the Roosevelts and the American homefront in WWII for the Book for All Seasons challenge to read a book about a tragic event. I listened to the audiobook while reading along with my own paperback copy of the book.

Since this massive, brilliantly written Pulitzer Prize-winning history covers the entire period of America’s time in World War II, it covers a huge amount of ground. Rather than trying to write a comprehensive, lengthy review, I’ll point out some of t
...more
Amy
Jan 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Teri
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent, very well researched and written account of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt in the years leading up to WWII and follows through to their deaths. Goodwin concentrates on life in the US during these years, touching on subjects like civil rights, Japanese internment, worker's rights, and women in the workplace. While the book was dense, it was very readable. It was exhaustive and entertaining. It is also a very raw and personal look into the personal lives of the Roosevelts. Franklin w ...more
Clif Hostetler
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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Jean
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. Gu
...more
Dan
Nov 21, 2012 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
...more
Sherri
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Sherry
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was so well writen. Goodwin is a good historian and would mix the personal lives of the Roosevelts with the political atmosphere of the times. I was just one year old when it started and six years old when it ended but because my father was in the navy from 1942 to 1945 I do have memories of the time. I lived with my fraternal grandparents and remember listening to the radio with my grandfather when the President died. A friend lent the book to me. When I was just about a third of the ...more
Randy Endemann
Feb 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Katy
Excellent history of the Home Front during WWII. And an excellent story of the Roosevelts.
Doreen Petersen
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, wwii
What a magificent book! Kudos to the author. Extremely well-written. Absolutely loved it and would recomend it to all.
Graeme Newell
Jun 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible
It is inspiring to find an author who can turn facts from history into a deep compelling story with complex characters and intricate details. Goodwin brings the drama to history and that is what I like about her work the most. She takes the time to research the small details that give these larger than life characters depth and character. I feel like I know FDR and understand the character flaws, personal strengths, and ego that molded his entire decision-making process.

I am also fas
...more
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
...more
Judy
Nov 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Suzanne
Mar 04, 2008 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
Chrissie
Aug 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
SPOILERS? - well maybe. I do present ideas and questions that arise in my mind as I learn about Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt and the Home Front in WW2

I totally loved this book. It was amazing!!! Tell me, how often do you read a history book that brings tears to your eyes when the main character dies? And here you have more than just one main character. You cannot help but fall in love with both Franklin and Eleanor. Their relationship is extraordinry. It feel so real b/c it is fill
...more
Tamara
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I really knew/know nothing about the Roosevelt's, both as people and as political figures. This only a little bit scratched the surface for me, but I am now totally on the Eleanor Roosevelt bandwagon.
Mary Etta
Apr 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Rebecca
2018 Read Harder Challenge: A book with a cover you hate. OK, this is a total cop-out. I have nothing against this cover, but it's a way to get credit for finishing this HUGE book which took up a couple months in early 2018. :)

This was a long book, but engrossing, and spurred me to also watch the entire Ken Burns FDR documentary, which provided some nice visuals and audio to go with the book. I wish I'd noted more thoughts at the time, but I know I thought a lot differently about FDR as a
...more
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History and political intrigue 6 52 Dec 13, 2018 01:55PM  
NonFiction Pulitzers: No Ordinary Time: Buddy Read 2017 148 30 Apr 22, 2017 09:31AM  
Stitchers Book Club: April Stitchers gathering 1 4 Mar 27, 2015 01:34PM  
Stitchers Book Club: March Stitchers Book Club 4 30 Mar 09, 2015 01:48PM  

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DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN’s interest in leadership began more than half a century ago as a professor at Harvard. Her experiences working for LBJ in the White House and later assisting him on his memoirs led to her bestselling "Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream." She followed up with the Pulitzer Prize–winning "No Ordinary Time: Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II." She ...more
“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.” 7 likes
“They are not dead who live in lives they leave behind. In those whom they have blessed they live a life again.” 5 likes
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