Visionary, activist, political wife, woman of surprising independence, Eleanor Roosevelt was the most influential First Lady the United States has ever had and undoubtedly the most important woman in American political history. Born into the American aristocracy and into a family ravaged by alcholism and self-destruction, Eleanor Roosevelt learned, rather than inherited, her progressive views. Though steeped in the sensibilities of the Old South with its prejudices against Blacks and Jews, she became an antiracist activist. She also became an eloquent spokesperson for peace and for women, proclaiming "In the future there will be nothing closed to women because of sex". Blanche Wiesen Cook's access to new archives, her insights, and her respect for her subject contribute a new perspective not just on Eleanor Roosevelt but on the world of politics in which she thrived. This book celebrates a woman of wit, passion, unfailing energy and blithe courage, whose life can be seen as a guide for all women and men interested in a just society.