ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

A LIFE OF DISCOVERY

A timid child from a dysfunctional family, Eleanor Roosevelt became a courageous woman whose career was propelled by a series of devastating events: FDR's polio, his relationship with Lucy Mercer, his election to offices that doomed his wife to supportive roles, his death; each time, with energy, determination, and an eye for the essential, Eleanor found new outlets and broke new ground with her accomplishments. Giving up her Democratic Party office when FDR was elected governor, she became his eyes and ears—a role she expanded as First Lady, touring the country and the world to observe and ask questions, winning over critics, reporting, advising, and acting as bellwether for forward-looking ideas on social policy and women's rights. After FDR's death, she chaired the UN commission that drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And always, she wrote—articles, books, a daily column; presided over a large family with its share of troubles; and kept in touch with an ever-growing circle of close friends. In this generously full history (longer than his Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1990, and with more numerous, equally fine b&w photos), Freedman focuses, properly, on the public life more than the personal one, as Mrs. Roosevelt herself did. Even so, synthesizing a wealth of resources (ably surveyed in a descriptive bibliography), he brings her wonderfully to life as a rare blend of honesty, intelligence, deep concern for humanity, and ability to inspire loyalty and convey her ideas. Freedman at his best: a splendid achievement. (Biography. 10+)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 1993

ISBN: 0-89919-862-7

Page Count: 198

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1993

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A powerful reminder of a history that is all too timely today.

THEY CALLED US ENEMY

A beautifully heart-wrenching graphic-novel adaptation of actor and activist Takei’s (Lions and Tigers and Bears, 2013, etc.) childhood experience of incarceration in a World War II camp for Japanese Americans.

Takei had not yet started school when he, his parents, and his younger siblings were forced to leave their home and report to the Santa Anita Racetrack for “processing and removal” due to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. The creators smoothly and cleverly embed the historical context within which Takei’s family’s story takes place, allowing readers to simultaneously experience the daily humiliations that they suffered in the camps while providing readers with a broader understanding of the federal legislation, lawsuits, and actions which led to and maintained this injustice. The heroes who fought against this and provided support to and within the Japanese American community, such as Fred Korematsu, the 442nd Regiment, Herbert Nicholson, and the ACLU’s Wayne Collins, are also highlighted, but the focus always remains on the many sacrifices that Takei’s parents made to ensure the safety and survival of their family while shielding their children from knowing the depths of the hatred they faced and danger they were in. The creators also highlight the dangerous parallels between the hate speech, stereotyping, and legislation used against Japanese Americans and the trajectory of current events. Delicate grayscale illustrations effectively convey the intense emotions and the stark living conditions.

A powerful reminder of a history that is all too timely today. (Graphic memoir. 14-adult)

Pub Date: July 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-60309-450-4

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Top Shelf Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 5, 2019

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A remarkable biography.

THE RISE AND FALL OF CHARLES LINDBERGH

The story of a flawed, complicated man.

The son of a distant Minnesota congressman and a demanding, well-educated mother, young Charles Lindbergh grew up shuttling among the family farm, his grandfather’s Detroit home, and Washington, D.C. Intelligent but uninterested in school, he began flying at age 19, getting involved in barnstorming and becoming an Air Service Reserve Corps officer. He used a combination of mechanical aptitude and moxie to successfully cross the Atlantic in a 1927 solo nonstop flight and was instantly propelled into worldwide celebrity. Success came at tremendous cost, however, when his infant son was kidnapped and murdered. Lindbergh was also his own enemy: His infatuation with eugenics led him into overt racism, open admiration for Hitler, and public denunciation of Jews. Fallen from grace, he nonetheless flew 50 clandestine combat missions in the South Pacific. He became an advocate for animal conservation but also had three secret families in addition to his acknowledged one. Fleming (Eleanor Roosevelt's in My Garage!, 2018, etc.) expertly sources and clearly details a comprehensive picture of a well-known, controversial man. Her frequent use of diaries allows much of the story to come through in Charles’ and his wife Anne’s own words. The man who emerges is hateable, pitiable, and admirable all at the same time, and this volume measures up to the best Lindbergh biographies for any audience.

A remarkable biography. (bibliography, source notes, picture credits, index) (Biography. 12-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-64654-9

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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