cover image Eleanor Roosevelt: Transformative First Lady

Eleanor Roosevelt: Transformative First Lady

Maurine H. Beasley, Univ. of Kansas, $29.95 (312p) ISBN 978-0-7006-1727-2

The latest in the Modern First Ladies series covers no new ground. Beasley (First Ladies and the Press) focuses on Roosevelt's work in the White House without referencing any significant paper or record. Instead, the bulk of the book examines Roosevelt's press conferences for female reporters (an innovative idea at the time that, in Beasley's hands, reveals nothing) and news accounts of her trips on behalf of the New Deal. This leaves out much of Roosevelt's fascinating personal history; in fact, it seems that Beasley races through Roosevelt's early life to get to the minutiae of her meetings with the press. Although Beasley comments on Roosevelt's personality, she fails to premise her conclusions within empirical contexts, making them little more than opinion. There are better Eleanor Roosevelt biographies out there. Photos. (Oct.)