ELEANOR ROOSEVELT: An American Conscience by Tamara K. Hareven

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT: An American Conscience

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The second book this spring concerned with the carcer of Eleanor Roosevelt (James R. Kearney, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt: The Evolution of a Reformer, p. 228), Tamara Hareven's study lakes in the whole of her life, whereas the Kearney concentrated on the pre-World War II period. Mrs. Hareven has had access to the Bernard Baruch papers: (Mrs. Roosevelt's own, while she intended to have them open, are not yet available). She tends to rely less on Mrs. Roosevelt's writing as prime source than Mr. Kearney. For each period and area of E.R.'s activities, she has selected ""those examples which would best document her involvement."" While her interest is with Mrs. Roosevelt as a public figure, she does analyze, somewhat cursorily, the formative years. This is groundwork for the woman, and for the study of the mature Eleanor in the years when she brought Hull House to Pennsylvania Avenue. Mrs. Hareven considers her contribution to the New Deal, includes her ""occasional lapses into Utopia"" (the dismal Athurdale episode), her relation to youth, women, Negroes. Then came the war years, widowhood, the ""culmination of her life's activity"" at the U.N. with her work on the Human Rights Commission. Mrs. Hareven opts for objectivity in a consistently conscientious study, writes a pragmatic prose that delimits this as a reading experience, provides sound reference.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1968
Publisher: Quadrangle