Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 1: 1884-1933” as Want to Read:
Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 1: 1884-1933
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 1: 1884-1933 (Eleanor Roosevelt #1)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  4,122 Ratings  ·  177 Reviews
Celebrated by feminists, historians, politicians & reviewers everywhere, Blanche Wiesen Cook's Eleanor Roosevelt presents an unprecedented portrait of the towering female figure of the 20th century. This volume begins with her harrowing childhood, describes the difficulties of her marriage & explains how she persuaded Franklin to make the reforms that would make hi ...more
Paperback, 587 pages
Published March 1st 1993 by Penguin Books (first published 1992)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 1, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 1

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Mikey B.
The early years of Eleanor Roosevelt read much like a Charles Dickens novel. She was unloved and uncared for. Her mother shunted her aside as a nuisance that interfered with her posturing in upper class society. She also found her daughter physically unappealing. Her mother died suddenly when Eleanor was 8 years old. Her father was a compulsive drunkard absent much of the time. Fortunately her uncle, Theodore Roosevelt (brother to her father), was a far better role model. After the death of her ...more
Laurie Carlson
Mar 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book all about Eleanor Roosevelt. Everything you ever wanted to know about her and her family, and of course, all about Franklin's family as well. This book is so detailed, it is Book 1 of 2. I always wondered if they were related how and why they would marry. It is all explained in the book that there were two separate families of Roosevelts, each not related to the other. This book is very detailed in all circumstances. You learn all about Eleanor, from her childhood to every member ...more
Barbara
Eleanor Roosevelt was a very interesting woman, and volume 1 of her biography is fairly well-written and gives loads of details about her life, perhaps too much. The length was very daunting, and I am a quick, determined reader. Some of the information in this book could have been deleted and still represented her life well. There were also times where the same information was repeated in a slightly different way in more than one chapter. Many times I personally did not agree with Eleanor Roosev ...more
Susanne Clower
Aug 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
I'm glad I'm reading this so soon after finishing a biography of FDR. Both authors act as their subjects' champion. Thus the FDR bio depicts ER as mostly unsupportive and self-absorbed (after the Lucy Mercer incident), while the ER bio expresses outrage at FDR's casual negligence and his dismissal of his wife's accomplishments. At the same time both books acknowledge the firm partnership that the marriage became. For myself, both FDR's and ER's life is inspiring. I'm particularly glad to be read ...more
Aaron Million
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
The first volume of a trilogy on Eleanor Roosevelt takes her from birth up until she became First Lady in 1933. Blanche Wiesen Cook focuses extensively on Roosevelt's messed up childhood, and rightly so because it damaged her severely and ill-prepared her for the troubles that she was to face later in life. She was someone born into high society but not really wishing to be a part of it. She romanticized an alcoholic father and suffered at the hands of a frosty mother. The early death of both pa ...more
Megan
Mar 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Top Eight Things I Learned about Eleanor Roosevelt:

1)Incredibly traumatic childhood

2)Ran her own school while FDR was governor of New York

3)Had a furniture making factory

4)Big time woman's rights advocate

5)Teddy Roosevelt's niece (he gave her away at her wedding)

6)Was an anti-semite before WW2.

7)He cheated, she offered a divorce, he declined, married in name only since that day.

8)The two loves of her adult life were Earl Miller and Lorena Hickok.



Caroline
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's a rare individual for whom I could stand to read a three-volume biography but I think Eleanor Roosevelt deserves one. Her life was so full, so involved and dynamic and controversial than any less would simply not be doing her justice. In many ways Eleanor's life can very easily be divided into three parts this biography takes - her early life and developing political awareness, her years as wife of one of America's most prominent politics and subsequently President, and the years after FDR' ...more
Linda
I have loved reading about the Roosevelt family for years. Perhaps I was drawn to a woman who stepped away from the shadow of men, thought and acted for herself during a time when this was uncommon - especially for a married woman.
Despite the fact that chronologies seem linear, stories often are not. I really liked this book, but occasionally was befuddled by the time. The title designates the period for the book, but that did not keep later dates from creeping in to finish a story or relationsh
...more
Rachel
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well this was a hard one to read in audio I had to check it out from the library three times to get through it and I'm not sure how well it would have gone if I hadn't read it before. I'm glad I did even if the woman's voice wasn't annoying at times.
Shay Caroline
Sep 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography, history
After seeing the PBS series about the Roosevelts, I wanted to find a biography of Eleanor Roosevelt that would tell me about the human being more than the public figure, and this was the book I was looking for. However, though it is well written, extremely well researched, and informative, I have to say it was very hard to get through, and I had to set it aside for a while when I was half way done; I just didn't want to know THAT much about anybody, and Blanche Cook never met a detail she didn't ...more
Awallens
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you had told me this book was so fascinating I wouldn't have believed you. But I read it in a day. What a life, and I have two more volumes to read. It's interesting to read about what happened in the 1920s, and see the parallels to today. Fascinating!
Amanda
Jun 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Such an incredible book. Such depth and truth to this amazing woman who overcame so much. Cook has way of pulling you into Eleanor's life and making you experience everything with her. She gives you enough detail to be involved, but doesn't weight you down in pointless correspondence or stories. A great biography for anyone wanting an honest account of Eleanor's pre-White House years.


Kathleen
My mother, born in 1914, loved Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but she always loved Eleanor Roosevelt more. This Volume I of a trilogy sheds a good deal of light on my mother's deep and unwavering respect for "ER," as the author refers to her throughout the book. More importantly, it brought history alive to me.

Blanche Wiesen Cook has spent years researching the life of Eleanor Roosevelt, and this first book, covering the years 1884 - 1933, published in 1992, reflects that careful study of letters, a
...more
Krenzel
May 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
For many Americans, Eleanor Roosevelt is more a myth than an actual person. In the Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. there is a whole floor devoted to American presidents, but just a small wing devoted to our First Ladies, or more specifically their inaugural gowns. While visiting the museum, I picked up a poster of Eleanor Roosevelt, with a nice quote that reads something like, "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent." Other than my poster, the only thing I knew abo ...more
Elizabeth
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Eleanor Roosevelt would definitely have been our first woman president if she were born later. However, we were lucky to have her as an activist, first lady, representative to the United Nations and great American. This first volume of the trilogy follows ER from her birth to moving into the White House.

From her rich, but difficult childhood, through her wonderful experience at a British school, she learned to overcome adversity. Many biographies of ER don't mention her charisma, which really w
...more
Jason Kinn
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
We named our daughter after Eleanor Roosevelt, and this book does not make me regret that decision. ER overcame terrible abandonment and betrayal to become one of the leaders in New York State politics in the 1920s. She demonstrated kindness to others throughout her life, not only through her charitable personal actions but in her advocacy for policy that would redistribute some degree of wealth or provide some protection from the excesses of capitalism.

She was a complex character. On the one h
...more
Courtney
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, especially the author's writing style.
Bailey
Mar 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Thought it was extremely interesting, but a bit dry. Took me a really long time to finish. I am eternally grateful, however, because I never realized what an amazing woman ER was.
Women's National Book Association of New Orleans
The Women's National Book Association sent this book to the White House today (March 6) in honor of Women's History Month: https://www.wnba-centennial.org/book-...

From the Women's National Book Association's press release:

Cook’s three-volume biography of Eleanor Roosevelt’s influential and inspirational life is a remarkable accomplishment. Cook worked on Roosevelt’s biography for well over 25 years and presents a grand biography not of a remote icon, but of an indomitable woman who welcomed life
...more
Bruce Knotts
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A magnificent book about a magnificent person. I had the pleasure of hearing Blache Wiesen Cook at Roosevelt House, where Sarah Roosevelt tormented her daughter-in-law, Eleanor. Ms. Cook is as wonderful a speaker (channelling Eleanor as she does) as she is a writer. Both hearing her and reading her book are life changing. I learned from this book that Sarah Roosevelt was a Unitarian, of a very judgmental and racist sort. The book makes clear that the terrible challenges that both Eleanor and Fra ...more
Amanda
Nov 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt- it includes her quirks and her mistakes and her flaws, but still shows her as an amazing role model and pioneer of feminism. The work she did was amazing, especially considering the environment of the 1920's and 30's and society's attitude toward women in politics. I can't help but wonder what her impact would be if she were born today and had more opportunities for education and participation. But her perseverence despite the hardships she fac ...more
Tracy Fitzpatrick
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
ER is an inspiration!!! I feel like I should write a review to explain my 2 star rating. First I want to say that I can really appreciate all of the effort the author put into this. Endless hours must have been spent researching and capturing the fine details displayed in the book. However, it took me 3 plus years to get through the book. Each chapter would start by capturing my interest but I would lose interest by the end off each and have to force myself to continue to the next. I'm not sure ...more
Shawna
Feb 10, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
An interesting book about an admirable woman who lived in strange, dysfunctional world. Surrounded by wealth and privilege, Eleanor never knew the love of her mother, and her father was an alcoholic whose family kept him away from his children for their own safety. Still, she idolized her father. She married into Franklin's family and inherited a domineering mother-in-law who never allowed her to be in charge of her own household or children. She endured Franklin's infidelity and stayed to care ...more
Carol
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
The information for this book, the first in a series, comes from letters and documents recently declassified. The insight afforded by these very private documents really sheds light on her early life and her relationships with family and friends. It also helps to see the incredibly complicated family life she led.

I'm very much looking forward to the next book in the series.
Karrie Stewart
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Not only is this an amazing biography on Eleanor but also those close to her and the current state of the country at this time period. E.R. did so much for this country and I feel like her husband got a lot of credit for it. I see bits of E.R. in Mrs. Michelle Obama as well. Excited to read the next two in the series.
Lisa
Mar 20, 2011 rated it liked it
I bought this book because I was in a leadership program and we were to read a book on a leader -- I remembered that my mom had read a book about Eleanor when I was young and she used to go do talks pretending she was her. Not sure if this is the same book or not - as this one was long and factual. I mostly skimmed it but will keep to read again if and when I retire
Janie
May 31, 2014 rated it did not like it
This is basically a huge encyclopedia (book number 1 of 2). I tried to read it cover to cover and didn't get very far before I fell asleep. I am a huge fan of this influential woman and a fan of biographies, but this is excruciating detail about every moment of her life told in a very dry and unwitty manner. Find another book!
Lindsay
Aug 01, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I love Eleanor Roosevelt. I am inspired by her courage, her energy, her strength, her compassion. These books are a little hard to get through though, because Blanche Wiesen Cook is so interested in every detail about everyone that Eleanor Roosevelt ever looked at in her entire life, that it is hard to get be drawn in. I finally started just skimming through parts.
Linda
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. With my appetite whetted by "The Roosevelts" on PBS, I read this book in a couple of weeks. I found it extraordinarily well researched, thorough, and fascinating. I'm looking forward to starting Vol. 2.
Meghan
Mar 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I can't really explain it but ever since I was in grade school and read a book on Eleanor I've had this strange fondness for her. Maybe we were friends in a past life. At any rate I speed through both of Ms. Cook's books. I will admit to liking the first one more than the second volume.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Fall of the Athenian Empire
  • Novels, 1930-1942: Dance Night / Come Back to Sorrento / Turn, Magic Wheel / Angels on Toast / A Time to Be Born
  • A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays
  • Lisa and David
  • The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000
  • My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and Its Aftermath
  • Molière: A Biography
  • Extravagance
  • Pushkin: A Biography
  • Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals
  • The Holy Barbarians
  • The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age
  • Brigadoon (Vocal Score)
  • The Art of Fiction
  • Fat Land
  • The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill
  • The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion
  • Monsieur Proust
Blanche Wiesen Cook (born April 20, 1941 in New York City), Distinguished Professor of history at John Jay College in the City University of New York, is the author of Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume One 1884–1933, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize winning biography of Eleanor Roosevelt....Ms.Cook, who is openly gay, is also the author of Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume 2 , The Defining Years, 1933–1938, and The ...more
More about Blanche Wiesen Cook

Other books in the series

Eleanor Roosevelt (3 books)
  • Eleanor Roosevelt: Vol 2, The Defining Years, 1933-38
  • Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 3: The War Years and After, 1939-1962

Nonfiction Deals

  • Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany
    $15.99 $3.99
  • The Monster of Florence
    $10.99 $2.99
  • The Westies: Inside New York's Irish Mob
    $9.99 $1.99
  • April 1865 (P.S.)
    $11.74 $1.99
  • Jesus Is ______: Find a New Way to Be Human
    $7.99 $0.99
  • Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search-and-Rescue Dog
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Lab 257
    $8.74 $1.99
  • How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Girl in the Woods: A Memoir
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype--and the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds, and More
    $14.99 $2.99
  • The Last Lecture
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived
    $12.74 $1.99
  • Not Tonight, Honey: Wait 'Til I'm A Size 6
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth's Past Mass Extinctions
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Feast: True Love in and out of the Kitchen
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Vaccinated: One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology
    $12.99 $2.99
  • An Appetite For Wonder: The Making Of A Scientist
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience
    $27.99 $2.99
  • Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip-Confessions of a Cynical Waiter
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Dakota: A Spiritual Geography (Dakotas)
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Restless: Because You Were Made for More
    $7.49 $1.99
  • Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and The Dawn of the Modern Woman
    $10.24 $1.99
  • The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions
    $16.99 $2.99
  • Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After
    $13.99 $3.99
  • Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Pukka: The Pup After Merle
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Buddhist Boot Camp
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Flour: A Baker's Collection of Spectacular Recipes
    $21.99 $3.99
  • The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Van Gogh
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Woman's Worth
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Do the Work
    $4.99 $1.49
  • The Lost Tribe of Coney Island: Headhunters, Luna Park, and the Man Who Pulled Off the Spectacle of the Century
    $4.99 $1.99
  • I Suck at Girls
    $10.74 $1.99
  • The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women
    $14.99 $2.99
  • A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives
    $18.99 $1.99
  • In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Prose
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Journal of a Solitude
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Living by the Word: Essays
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Peace Is Every Breath: A Practice for Our Busy Lives
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic Quest for Primitive Art
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now--As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It
    $7.24 $1.99
  • The World's Last Night: And Other Essays
    $7.99 $1.99
  • A. Lincoln
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Tracks: One Woman's Journey Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Hell's Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Life
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society
    $13.24 $2.99
  • Grace, Not Perfection (with Bonus Content): Celebrating Simplicity, Embracing Joy
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Promise and the Dream: The Untold Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. And Robert F. Kennedy
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Through the Eyes of a Lion: Facing Impossible Pain, Finding Incredible Power
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Why We Run: A Natural History
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Edgar Allan Poe: The Fever Called Living
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple
    $12.99 $2.99
“And the purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” 7 likes
“And even when success comes, as I am sure it will, bear in mind that there are more quiet and enviable joys than to be among the most sought after women at a ball...” 1 likes
More quotes…