America,  Book Reviews,  Memoir/Biography,  NON FICTION,  World War II

No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin *** (of 4)

The book only covers five years, but it does it so thoroughly that it probably contains more than half a million words. Goodwin brings several strengths to the task. First, she doesn’t try to cover their entire lives. Second, and most appealing to me, she describes events chronologically, as if we were following them unfold in the newspapers. Third, she integrates the combustible nuances of Franklin’s and Eleanor’s divergent personalities, providing psychoanalysis at the same time she is explaining their actions as perceived by the nation and world. Fourth, she writes about World War II as perceived from within America, a view I’ve never encountered before. Fifth, she’s a very compelling writer. But the book’s length makes it a real commitment. September 2006.