"Eleanor Roosevelt once asked, ‘Where do human rights begin? In small places, close to home, so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination.’ As the Chair of the United Nations commission drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Eleanor Roosevelt worked tirelessly from 1946 to 1948.... Through Volume 1 of the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, we honor her work, her legacy, her timeless values and ideals, and her commitment to imagining a better future for all people. As you read through this volume, I hope her words will be a call to action."—from the foreword by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Eleanor Roosevelt walked out of the White House more than the president's widow. As a nationally syndicated columnist, popular lecturer, author, party leader, and social activist, Roosevelt assured her friends that "my voice will not be silent." Vowing not to be a "workless worker in a world of work," Roosevelt dedicated her unstinting energy to "winning the peace."
The 410 documents in The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Volume 1: The Human Rights Years, 1945-1948, collected from 263 archives in 50 states and 9 nations, chronicle not only Roosevelt's impact on American politics and the United Nations, but also the serious treatment she received from those in power. They disclose the inner workings of Truman's first administration, the United Nations, and the major social and political movements of the postwar world. They also reveal the intense struggles Roosevelt's correspondents and advisors had confronting a war-scarred world, the conflicting advice they gave her, and the material Roosevelt reviewed and the people she consulted while determining her own course of action.
Using a wide variety of material—letters, speeches, columns, debates, committee transcripts, telegrams, and diary entries—this first of five volumes presents a representative selection of the actions Eleanor Roosevelt took to define, implement, and promote human rights and the impact her work had at home and abroad. Readers may disagree over various decisions she made, language that she used, or the priorities she established. Yet her influence is unquestioned.