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Robyn Crummer-Olson has commented on (2) products.

Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon
Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity

Robyn Crummer-Olson, January 30, 2013

When I first received the book, I couldn't imagine why it needed to be so long. After I finished the first chapter on deaf or hearing children and their deaf or hearing parents, I could not think of one single profile that seemed superfluous. Every single family profile contributed to a more nuanced understanding of the trials and triumphs of raising children with this particular horizontal identity. Throughout every other chapter, Solomon gives intimate, illuminating details about these families' lives, provides historical and medical context of the diagnoses, and strings together complex issues of prenatal testing, identity politics, and the ambivalence of accommodation. It's a complex book that has changed me as both a parent and a person.
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Franklin and Eleanor by Hazel Rowley
Franklin and Eleanor

Robyn Crummer-Olson, January 1, 2011

There are many biographies of Franklin Delano or Eleanor Roosevelt, but Franklin and Eleanor is the first biography chronicling the Roosevelts' marriage. As individuals, neither of them could have achieved such significant and sustained influence. Author Hazel Rowley reveals, through excerpts of private and public correspondence, that it was because of their marriage that FDR and Eleanor found enormous sustenance and support. Rowley also reveals that the Roosevelts achieved individual greatness because of the openness beyond their marriage. They relied on a vast network of friends, confidants, and lovers to fulfill their needs for companionship, support, and intimacy during the barely-post-Victorian early 20th century. The suffering of the American people during the Great Depression, exacerbated by Hoover's inaction, serve as a chilling reminder of what might have befallen us in 2008. Reading about the criticism, bigotry, and bombastic accusations thrown at FDR and his relief legislation feel a bit like deja vu for our current president. Franklin and Eleanor provides a riveting biographical read about the private complexities and risks of sustaining a marriage and the public perils of rescuing the country from economic crisis.
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