Courage in a Dangerous World: The Political Writings of Eleanor Roosevelt / Edition 1

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Dozens of books have been written about Eleanor Roosevelt, but her own writings are largely confined to the Roosevelt archives in Hyde Park. Courage in a Dangerous World allows her own voice again to be heard. Noted Eleanor Roosevelt scholar Allida M. Black has gathered more than two hundred columns, articles, essays, and speeches culled from archives whose pages number in the millions, tracing her development from timorous columnist to one of liberalism's most outspoken leaders.

From "My Day" newspaper columns about Marian Anderson and excerpts from Moral Basis of Democracy and This Troubled World to speeches and articles on the Holocaust and McCarthyism, this anthology provides readers with the tools to reconstruct the politics of a woman who redefined American liberalism and democratic reform. Arranged chronologically and by topic, the volume covers the New Deal years, the White House years, World War II at home and abroad, the United Nations and human rights, the Cold War, the civil rights movement, the resurgence of feminism, and much more. In addition, the collection features excerpts from Eleanor Roosevelt's correspondence with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Adlai Stevenson, J. Edgar Hoover, John F. Kennedy, and ordinary Americans.

The volume features a collection of 30 rare photographs. A comprehensive bibliography of Eleanor Roosevelt's articles serves as a valuable resource, providing a link to the issues she held dear, many of which are still hotly debated today.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Chicago Sun-Times

An extraordinary collection of her letters, speeches, columns, and essays.... This volume should become a standard work for the new century.


The intelligent writings of Roosevelt are both a tonic and a balm in this time of rampant doublespeak. Allida Black... has worked through the immense treasure trove of Eleanor Roosevelt's writings to make these jewels of common sense, candor, and generosity of spirit accessible to all readers.

Blanche Wiesen Cook
[Eleanor Roosevelt´s] profound legacy fully reconsidered might yet help make the 21st century a happier and less brutish time. This is a book we urgently need for our current and coming journeys.
Chicago Sun-Times
An extraordinary collection of her letters, speeches, columns, and essays. . . . This volume should become a standard work for the new century.
R. C. Cottrell
An exceptionally important collection of the writings of America´s most renowned First Lady. . . . Highly recommended.
Library Journal
With the written word, Eleanor Roosevelt learned to speak loudly and cast her own political shadow. This collection of columns, essays, speeches, and letters documents her political transformation from self-effacing first lady to outspoken defender of democracy and human rights. Arranged chronologically from the New Deal to the Cold War, this title is important because most of Roosevelt's writings--except her Autobiography (Da Capo, 1992)--are out of print. Black, editor of What I Hope To Leave Behind: The Essential Essays of Eleanor Roosevelt (LJ 11/15/95), has struck archival gold. "In Defense of Curiosity" proves that Eleanor put a deft spin on gender politics in the 1930s: "when people say woman's place is in the home, I certainly is, but if she really cares about her home, that caring will take her far and wide." She had the audacity to support the American Youth Congress--disillusioned young adults with Communist sympathies--and denounce Joseph McCarthy. Racism, generation gaps, and education also drove her to write with both compassion and a sterling clarity that transcended her husband's politics. Recommended for all public and academic libraries. (Photos not seen.)--Heather McCormack, "Library Journal"
A collection of over 200 columns, articles, essays, speeches, and excerpts from books by Roosevelt, arranged chronologically from 1933 to 1963 to illustrate her evolution from a timorous columnist to one of liberalism's most outspoken leaders. They deal with the New Deal years, the White House years, World War II, the United Nations and human rights, the Cold War, the civil rights movement, the resurgence of feminism, and other issues. A comprehensive bibliography of her articles is appended. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231111812
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 9/29/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 1,035,777
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Allida M. Black is research professor of history, and project director and editor of The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers at The George Washington University. She is the author of Casting Her Own Shadow: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Shaping of Postwar Liberalism (Columbia) and the editor of "What I Hope to Leave Behind": The Essential Essays of Eleanor Roosevelt.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface, by by Blanche Weisen CookIntroductionPart I. The New Deal Years: 1933--1940 1. The State's Responsibility for Fair Working Conditions2. I Want You to Write to Me3. Old Age Pensions4. Subsistence Farmsteads5. The New Governmental Interest in the Arts: A Speech before the Twenty-Fifth Annual Convention of the American Federation of Artists6. In Defense of Curiosity7. The Negro and Social Change8. Are We Overlooking the Pursuit of Happiness?9. Married Persons Clause of the Economy Act10. The Southern Conference on Human Welfare11. ER to Lorena HickokHenry Grady Hotel Atlanta12. Marian Anderson and the Daughters of the American Revolution13. The Federal Theater Project14. Women Politics, and Policy15. The Works Progress Administration16. The Moral Basis of Democracy17. Women in Politics18. Insuring Democracy19. Helping Them to Help ThemselvesPart II. The Threat of War: 1935--1945 1. "Because the War Idea Is Obsolete''2. "This Troubled World''3. Cash and Carry4. The Invasion of Poland5. Wartime Sacrifice6. Should There Be A Referendum on War?7. The Bombing of Britain8. Pearl Harbor9. The Nazi Camps10. The Holocaust11. D-Day12. D-Day, by Continued13. Conscientious Objectors14. Total War15. Equal Justice for All16. The Atomic BombPart III. The Home Front: 1939--1945 1. "Keepers of Democracy''2. "Intolerance''3. "Why I Still Believe in the Youth Congress''4. "Civil Liberties--The Individual and the Community''5. "Social Gains and Defense''6. "Race Religion and Prejudice''7. "Must We Hate to Fight?''8. "Freedom: Promise or Fact''9. "Abolish Jim Crow!''10. "A Challenge to American Sportsmanship''11. "Henry A. Wallace's "Democracy Reborn''12. FDR's DeathPart IV. The United Nations and Human Rights: 1945--1953 1. "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights''2. "The Promise of Human Rights''3. "Statement on Draft Covenant on Human Rights''4. "Reply to Attacks on U.S. Attitude Toward Human Rights Covenant''5. "UN: Good U.S. Investment''6. "The Universal Validity of Man's Right to Self-Determination''7. "U.N. Deliberations on Draft Convention on the Political Rights of Women''8. "Eisenhower Administration Rejects Treaty''9. ER's ResponsePart V. The Cold War Abroad: 1945--1963 1. Revisiting Yalta2. "The Russians Are Tough''3. The Korean War4. Truman's Dismissal of MacArthur5. China and the Korean War6. "First Need: Resettlement''7. "The Changing India''8. "Soviet Attacks on Social Conditions in U.S.''9. "Why Are We Cooperating with Tito?''10. Tensions in the Middle East11. "What Are We For?''12. The Bay of Pigs and the Congo13. "What Has Happened to the American Dream?''Part VI. The Cold War at Home: 1945--1963 1. Full Employment2. Price Controls and Postwar Production3. "Why I Do Not Choose to Run''4. Loyalty Oaths5. Taft-Hartley Act6. Correspondence Regarding the Above Column7. House Committee on Un-American Activities8. "Plain Talk About Wallace''9. "Liberals in This Year of Decision''10. Dispute with Francis Cardinal Spellman11. Correspondence Regarding the Above Column12. Address to Americans for Democratic Action13. "If I Were a Republican Today''14. Senator Joseph McCarthy15. Alger Hiss16. "Social Responsibility for Individual Welfare'17. Stevenson Campaign Address18. Segregation in the South19. The Smith Act20. The Civil Rights Act of 195721. Stevenson on the Civil Rights Bill22. Correspondence with Lyndon Johnson Regardomg the Above Column23. "Ike--'Nice Man Poor Leader';Nixon--'Anything to Get Elected' ''24. "Why I Am Opposed to 'Right to Work' Laws''25. Statement on Behalf of the National Consumers League26. Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights Act of 196027. Stevenson, Kennedy and the 1960 Democratic Convention28. Campaigning for Kennedy29. Presidential Commission on the Status of Women30. "The Social Revolution''

Columbia University Press

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 1999

    Rich Wine from an Old Vine

    Eleanor Roosevelt was very much a woman of her time, and a person for all time. Her passion for civil rights and civil liberties gave her a lifetime of work among the American people in this century. The written record of Mrs. Roosevelt's political career provides words which are as current now as they were when first Mrs. Roosevelt wrote them- a legacy which extends beyond this century. The remarkable currency, the near-universal quality of Eleanor Roosevelt's work and words, make her a foremother and political ancestor worth remembering. Dr. Black has done a remarkable job; she writes history well, clearly rooted in sound scholarship. At the same time, this volume is inviting, in a voice which both teaches and befriends. This cannot be over-emphasized- to teach well is to give history its own voice while being authentically who one is. A.M. Black is very skillful at this. The book is successful- it does precisely what Eleanor Roosevelt would have wanted done in her inspires, offers encouragement, and gives hope in a time when politics is devoid of a sense of public service, completely self-serving instead. As a life-long student of American history, and a recently galvanized cynic about Democratic national politics, this book was most welcome.

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