Eleanor Roosevelt was really ahead of her time. I recently read the current "it" business book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg which is also a book about women's empowerment in the work place. Eleanor did not let the times mores hold her back, she simply did it.
This book, On My Own starts off sharing her years after the death of her beloved Franklin (FDR) dies. She has to take charge of her household, handle the expenses, make a living, and plan what she will do for the rest of her life. She finds a voice as a writer and reporter and in the book shares her interviews with some of the more interesting characters of her day, from Kruschev, Tito, and also her tedious work with the United Nations.
In her travels she speaks of what she sees and describes in great detail China, the far east, Russia and all the exotic places that she pass through.
Even with her expanded roles, she still kept a foot in the political world and shares her thoughts of Adlai Stevenson, the Kennedy brothers, Nixon and other public official of the day. She believed that public officials needed to take a stand and owed that to the voters.
This book is really a find capsule of life in the late 50s, her concerns of the changing political works with the influence of television, the new political class, the worries of the common person and how she pushed for universal human rights were some of her passions.
She describes how the television media was creating a divide between the elected officials and the public.
Eleanor had no airs about her and was really a curious person about the wonders of the world. A fascinating book about a dynamic woman who was way ahead of her time and helped set the course for the modern woman.
Hard to imagine a time when a former first lady could simply roam free with no larger entourage or security and with relative ease return to private life.
How I would have wished to have known her and now with this book I have a little better understanding.