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The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers

The Human Rights Years, 1949–1952
Eleanor Roosevelt. Edited by Allida Black. Foreword by Boutros Boutros-Ghali

BUY Cloth · 1208 pp. · 7 × 10 · ISBN 9780813931418 · $125.00 · May 2012

The 311 documents in this second volume of Eleanor Roosevelt’s papers trace her transformation into one of her era’s most prominent spokespersons for democracy, reveal her ongoing maturation as a political force in her own right, and detail the broader impact she had on American politics, the United Nations, and global affairs. Readers will find a fascinating view on the inner workings of President Truman’s second administration, the UN at the height of the early Cold War, and the many social and political movements that competed for influence over both. Ranging widely in substance and content, Roosevelt’s writings demonstrate a grasp of the intimate connection between domestic and international affairs that led the former first lady to support the Korean War, champion the newly founded state of Israel, demand respect for the civil rights of African Americans, and bolster the political ambitions of people like Adlai Stevenson, Helen Gahagan Douglas, and John F. Kennedy.

The publication of this volume has been supported by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.


Praise for the First Edition:"After 1945, with over 50 million dead, and the world riven by terror and suffering, Eleanor Roosevelt was in the leadership of those who wanted World War II to be ‘the last civil war to tear humanity apart.’ That required human rights—dignity, security, respect for all people; and diplomatic justice between nations, including economic stability to protect the earth's resources and the needs of humanity. Allida Black and her diligent, generous staff's remarkable collection of ER's papers—her letters and columns, memos of meetings and conversations, brilliantly edited and profoundly learned—gift us with the history we need most urgently now as we again confront a dangerous future. ER's life was dedicated to the eradication of poverty and racism, war and despair. This splendid and important volume—generously illustrated, filled with dazzling insights and stunning surprises—is a gift of hope and courage."—Blanche Weisen Cook, CUNY, author of Eleanor Roosevelt: A Biography

"In allowing us to study her own words, in letters, speeches, columns, and diary entries, a different portrait of the much-lionized woman emerges—one of a pragmatic, savvy politician. While she is remembered as a saintly, long-suffering figure, we can forget she was an indefatigable, disciplined activist—as historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. wrote, a ‘tough and salty old lady’—who resisted stereotyping when she was alive, and constantly protested she was not interested in power while vigorously pursuing it."— Newsweek

"Nothing like this pathbreaking volume exists in ER literature, and this resource will forever change the research landscape. This volume stands for documentary editing at its best."— Documentary Editing

"This publication of the first volume of the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project (ERPP), edited by Allida Black and her associates at George Washington University, is an event of the utmost significance to documentary editors and historians alike."— Journal of American History

About the Author(s): 

Allida Black is Research Professor of History and International Affairs at George Washington University and Program Manager for the National Democratic Institute for International Affair’s Women’s Political Participation Team. She is the author or editor of numerous works on Eleanor Roosevelt and serves as Founding Editor and Editorial Advisory Board Chair of the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers.

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