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Customer Review

24 April 2011
No other Head of Government can be found with a wife that made such a large contribution to improving the world jointly, and alone after President Roosevelt's death. If you want be become inspired, about what an individual can achieve this is one of the best books you can find. One of the many points is the necessity that if you want to hold an opinion or make recommendations to what another country should do, you have to be able to understand their culture, their way of thinking and the challenges they face. Eleanor is very proud of being American, of democracy, of liberty and of America as an example. But she is also critical of America because many Americans do not think and act that way. She also thought that chat Americans did not live up to the standards of equality and liberty they preached about to others. In her time that was racial discrimination and McCarthyism. The same criticism applies to many other Westerners,
Eleanor believed in engagement at all levels of society. She argued with the Emperor of Japan, Khrushchev, Tito and investigated working and health conditions in the USA for the President in the mining areas and in Puerto Rico. She made in depth investigations in the Soviet Union and Japan.
She writes very clearly in a way that you feel yourself at her side when she meets with these diverse people from heads of states to ordinary citizens. She also describes the huge number of initiatives she took to improve the living condition and opportunities by giving advice, writing articles, giving hundreds of speeches and participating in the leadership of many organizations. One of her most important assignments was to act as the official representatives of the United States in the United Nations and in the committee assigned to write the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, where she acted as Chairman of the last closing sessions in Geneva. She also shows how she as a shy and ugly girl, as she describes herself, developed in a personality that was appreciated at all levels of society and happy by having courage and hard work to improve the conditions of man, in the US and abroad.
The book was published fifty years ago but we are still facing many of the same problems. The world is far short of leaders like Eleanor. This book can inspire those that want to make a difference.
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4.8 out of 5 stars