These biographies emphasize the intellect, integrity, and hard work of their subjects. Ditchfield updates her 2003 title, tracing Rice's meteoric climb from segregated Birmingham, AL, to academic success at Stanford and foreign-policy influence in the Bush cabinet. Although the author mentions her subject's family and her love of football and music, most of the book focuses on her unceasing efforts to excel and includes current material about her role as Secretary of State and the American involvement in the Iraq War. Lassieur describes how Roosevelt overcame her insecurities and societal restrictions to champion progressive causes and influence her husband's policies and those of the world community through the United Nations. The author places Roosevelt's public work in the context of her relationships with her family, teachers, husband, and women friends, and, in a source note, discusses some of the historical speculation about Roosevelt's sexual orientation. Both authors are clearly admiring of their subjects. The texts are supplemented with sidebars about related topics and numerous black-and-white and full-color photos. Although Roosevelt is not as comprehensive or well written as Russell Freedman's outstanding Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery (Clarion, 1993), both of these books are serviceable introductions to remarkable women.
Mary MuellerCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.