No Ordinary Time

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

4.23 (24,107 ratings by Goodreads)
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From the bestselling author of "The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys" and "Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream" comes a compelling chronicle of a nation and its leaders during the period when modern America was created. Presenting an aspect of American history that has never been fully told, Doris Kearns Goodwin describes how the isolationist and divided United States of 1940 was unified under the extraordinary leadership of Franklin Roosevelt to become, only five years later, the preeminent economic and military power in the world. Using diaries, interviews, and White House records of the president's and first lady's comings and goings, Goodwin paints a detailed, intimate portrait not only of the daily conduct of the presidency during wartime but of the Roosevelts themselves and their extraordinary constellation of friends, advisers, and family, many of whom lived with them in the 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 more

Product details

  • Paperback | 768 pages
  • 157.48 x 233.68 x 38.1mm | 907.18g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 32pp b&w photographs
  • 0684804484
  • 9780684804484
  • 87,169

Review quote

"A thoroughly terrific and important work, a valuable addition to Roosevelt literature. . . . Goodwin has deftly reminded us just how extraordinary FDR and Eleanor were in 'no ordinary times.'"show more

Review Text

A superb dual portrait of the 32nd President and his First Lady, whose extraordinary partnership steered the nation through the perilous WW II years. In the period covered by this biography, 1940 through Franklin's death in 1949, FDR was elected to unprecedented third and fourth terms and nudged the country away from isolationism into war. It is by now a given that Eleanor was not only an indispensable adviser to this ebullient, masterful statesman, but a political force in her own right. More than most recent historians, however, Goodwin (The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, 1987) is uncommonly sensitive to their complex relationship's shifting undercurrents, which ranged from deep mutual respect to lingering alienation caused by FDR's infidelity. One element creating tension was tactical politics: FDR, seeing increased arms production as crucial to the war effort, sought to close the divide between businessmen and his administration, while Eleanor prodded him not to forget about labor, civil rights, and Jewish refugees. As grateful as he was to her for acting as his political eyes and ears, Franklin also could react testily to her unremitting lobbying at times when he desperately needed relief from the strains of running the war effort. Equally fascinating here are the often semi-permanent White House guests who filled the couple's "untended needs": their daughter and four sons; FDR alter ego Harry Hopkins, shaking off grave illness to go on critical diplomatic missions; Franklin's secretary Missy LeHand, prevented by a stroke from serving the man she loved; exiled Princess Martha of Norway, who gave Franklin the unqualified affection of which Eleanor was incapable; two of Eleanor's confidantes, future biographer Joe Lash and the lesbian ex-journalist Lorena Hickok; and Winston Churchill. A moving drama of patchwork intimacy in the White House, played out against the sweeping tableau of the nation rallying behind a great crusade. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

24,107 ratings
4.23 out of 5 stars
5 50% (12,174)
4 31% (7,420)
3 13% (3,082)
2 4% (881)
1 2% (550)
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