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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FIDEL CASTRO

CUBAN REVOLUTIONARY

A well-balanced account of the Cuban leader's life and career, with a generous amount of background information and convincing explanations of Castro's several changes of image- -idealistic student revolutionary, romantic bandit chief, leader of the nonaligned nations, grizzled autocrat. Particularly effective is Brown's fair-minded presentation of Castro's populist measures and appeals to Cuban nationalism. His rigidities and failures also get their full due, from antidemocratic politics at home to African involvements. Although the story has some exciting elements—e.g., the ``Alphabetizers'' literacy campaign—Brown keeps it at a general level, with few individual experiences (except for Castro's own) to enliven it. Well-placed b&w photos with informative captions; chronology; notes; bibliography; index. (Biography. 12+)

Pub Date: March 1, 1994

ISBN: 1-56294-385-5

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Millbrook

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1994

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