17 Must-Read Books for the New Year
An unlikely debut, a posthumous masterpiece, and more titles to pick up now.
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Eleanor Roosevelt: The War Years and After
The final installment in Blanche Wiesen Cook’s trilogy of biographies of Eleanor Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt: The War Years and After , finds the first lady increasingly comfortable in her own skin, traveling the globe as her ailing husband’s ambassador and crossing class and racial lines to speak out on the issues of the day, however politically inconvenient. As the two previous books revealed, she wasn’t always so confident. Roosevelt’s withholding mother nicknamed her “granny” for her plainness. She often felt humiliated and insecure in her marriage to distant cousin FDR, who was embroiled in an affair for years. But as these remarkable volumes chronicle, Roosevelt found her voice and her calling as an advocate—for peace, women’s rights, and the disadvantaged. She fell in love with reporter Lorena Hickok, and by the time she died, in 1962, Roosevelt had become one of our most admired figures, a woman who would “rather light candles than curse the darkness,” whose “glow had warmed the world.”
— Leigh Haber