THIS I REMEMBER by Eleanor Roosevelt
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THIS I REMEMBER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This carries on the autobiography begun in This Is My Story, published in 1937, and carrying her life up to her husband's election as Governor of New York. There has been eager curiosity-and some concern- about the possible revelations this second volume (which ends with his death) might make. Reading the script convinces this reader, at least, that its popularity will rest, not on such revelations (for actually there are none of anything other than human values)- but on the sheer simplicity and bigness of the woman herself. Even her detractors, if they approach the book objectively, will have to confess that many of the fantastic criticisms to which she has been subjected collapse before the honest analysis of her relations to her job as the wife of a president who was unable to cover all the areas of human contact his role dictated. Mrs. Roosevelt, without too obviously setting herself the task of correcting misapprehensions, almost naively reveals the reasons for her incessant journeyings- and what they achieved; the fundamental needs in herself for her numerous activities- and the use to which the financial returns were put; her official duties as President's wife, White House hostess, wife, mother, and a woman in her own right. One sees her as a very great, very simple person, living in keen awareness of the demands made upon her and the importance of meeting them, no matter what interpretation they might be subjected to. It is in these roles that she presents herself in the pages of this book. Inevitably, the President himself is integral to the whole pattern of her life. She sees herself as sometimes his sounding board; as often in the position of presenting the opposition; as eyes and ears and legs-a good reporter. But she denies any feeling that she affected his thinking, his actions. She understood him profoundly, and interprets much that is puzzling to those with whom he came in contact. She is honest, frequently, as to her personal reactions to some in high places; as to her disappointments at some of the decisions made, the compromises necessitated. She takes one behind the scenes on a personal level- but never does she reveal state secrets, rather does she interpret the moods, the circumstances, the personalities. A very human, an unpretentiously humble document in the story of our First Lady during 12 vital years.

Pub Date: Nov. 7th, 1949
Publisher: Harper