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

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Dozens of books have been written about Eleanor Roosevelt, but her own writings have largely been confined to the Roosevelt archives in Hyde Park. Courage in a Dangerous World allows her own voice again to be heard. In this collection of her political writings, noted Eleanor Roosevelt scholar Allida Black has gathered more than two hundred columns, articles, essays, and speeches. Culled-from archives whose pages number in the millions, the selections included here trace Eleanor Roosevelt's development from timorous columnist to one of liberalism's most outspoken leaders.
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Editorial Reviews

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.
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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231111805
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 2/24/1999
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (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

Introduction 1
Pt. I The New Deal Years: 1933-1940
1 The State's Responsibility for Fair Working Conditions 17
2 I Want You to Write to Me 18
3 Old Age Pensions 20
4 Subsistence Farmsteads 22
5 The New Governmental Interest in the Arts 26
6 In Defense of Curiosity 28
7 The Negro and Social Change 34
8 Are We Overlooking the Pursuit of Happiness? 37
9 Married Persons Clause of the Economy Act 39
10 The Southern Conference on Human Welfare 40
11 Marian Anderson and the Daughters of the American Revolution 42
12 The Federal Theater Project 42
13 Women, Politics, and Policy 43
14 WPA Wages 44
15 The Moral Basis of Democracy 45
16 Women in Politics 58
17 Insuring Democracy 71
18 Helping Them to Help Themselves 76
Pt. II The Threat of War: 1935-1945
1 Because the War Idea Is Obsolete 81
2 This Troubled World 86
3 Cash and Carry 101
4 The Invasion of Poland 102
5 Wartime Sacrifice 103
6 Should There Be a Referendum on War? 104
7 The Bombing of Britain 105
8 Pearl Harbor 106
9 The Nazi Camps 107
10 The Holocaust 108
11 D-Day 109
12 D-Day, Continued 110
13 Conscientious Objectors 111
14 Total War 112
15 Equal Justice for All 113
16 The Atomic Bomb 115
Pt. III The Home Front: 1939-1945
1 Keepers of Democracy 117
2 Intolerance 120
3 Why I Still Believe in the Youth Congress 125
4 Civil Liberties - The Individual and the Community 130
5 Social Gains and Defense 132
6 Race, Religion and Prejudice 135
7 Must We Hate to Fight? 136
8 Freedom: Promise or Fact 138
9 Abolish Jim Crow! 139
10 A Challenge to American Sportsmanship 140
11 Henry A. Wallace's Democracy Reborn 144
12 FDR's Death 148
Pt. IV The United Nations and Human Rights: 1945-1953
1 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 149
2 The Promise of Human Rights 156
3 Statement on Draft Covenant on Human Rights 162
4 Reply to Attacks on U.S. Attitude Toward Human Rights Covenant 168
5 UN: Good U.S. Investment 173
6 The Universal Validity of Man's Right to Self-Determination 176
7 U.N. Deliberations on Draft Convention on the Political Rights of Women 180
8 Eisenhower Administration Rejects Treaty 187
9 ER's Response to Eisenhower 189
10 Where Do Human Rights Begin? 190
Pt. V The Cold War Abroad: 1945-1963
1 Revisiting Yalta 191
2 The Russians Are Tough 192
3 The Korean War 197
4 Truman's Dismissal of MacArthur 198
5 China and the Korean War 199
6 First Need: Resettlement 200
7 The Changing India 202
8 Soviet Attacks on Social Conditions in U.S. 206
9 Why Are We Cooperating with Tito? 208
10 Tensions in the Middle East 212
11 What Are We For? 213
12 The Bay of Pigs and the Congo 221
13 What Has Happened to the American Dream? 223
Pt. VI The Cold War at Home: 1945-1963
1 Full Employment 231
2 Price Controls and Postwar Production 234
3 Why I Do Not Choose to Run 236
4 Loyalty Oaths 239
5 Taft-Hartley Act 240
6 Correspondence Regarding Taft-Hartley 241
7 House Committee on Un-American Activities 243
8 Plain Talk About Wallace 245
9 Liberals in This Year of Decision 247
10 Dispute with Francis Cardinal Spellman 253
11 Correspondence with Cardinal Spellman 254
12 Address to Americans for Democratic Action 259
13 If I Were a Republican Today 263
14 Senator Joseph McCarthy 265
15 Alger Hiss 267
16 Social Responsibility for Individual Welfare' 269
17 Stevenson Campaign Address 273
18 Segregation in the South 277
19 The Smith Act 278
20 The Civil Rights Bill of 1957 279
21 Stevenson on the Civil Rights Bill 280
22 Correspondence with Lyndon Johnson Regarding the Above Column 281
23 Ike - 'Nice Man, Poor Leader'; Nixon - 'Anything to Get Elected' 283
24 Why I Am Opposed to 'Right to Work' Laws 286
25 Statement on Behalf of the National Consumers League 290
26 Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights Act of 1960 294
27 Stevenson, Kennedy and the 1960 Democratic Convention 294
28 Campaigning for Kennedy: Four Selections 296
29 Presidential Commission on the Status of Women 299
30 The Social Revolution 300
App. A Comprehensive Bibliography of the Articles of Eleanor Roosevelt 311
Index 333
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