Amanda Ferrell's Reviews > Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage

Franklin and Eleanor by Hazel Rowley
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's review
Feb 27, 2011

really liked it
Read in February, 2011

I didn't know much about the Roosevelts before reading this book, but did have the impression that many people had negative thoughts about Eleanor. The book seems to focus more on Eleanor than on Franklin, more private correspondence to and from her seems to have survived, with letters to and from several who had personal and professional relationships with her, both men and women. I admire Eleanor's tireless work on behalf of the people of this country and support of her husband's political career. Franklin, to me is a more difficult charcter to like, with his many flirtations and enduring romances/relationships with women who were not Eleanor. It seeems to me that Eleanor only took up with other people, men and women, after it became clear to her that Franklin had become attached to several different young women. The author contends that since the Roosevelts were mature enough to allow each other to have personal relationships outside marriage, that it strengthened their bond so they were able to remain a couple. I do not buy it. He neeeded to stay married to have his political career, she had clout and status that she would never have been able to achieve had he not been governor of New York then President; it allowed her to pursue her projects and have access to the highest office. It was expedient and politically savvy to stay together. That is the choice they made. Don't sell it to me as a strong or successful relationship.

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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Carol (new) - added it

Carol Good review, Amanda! I haven't read this particular book, but I was impressed with Eleanor with one that I read a few years back. I had no idea of the numerous good works she had done until then. I agree with your last sentence!

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