Synopses & Reviews
"Eleanor and Harry -- even the title makes you want to pick up this book. That's a symbol of its value in drawing us into history....Since we know from hindsight that these two people helped to shape our world, we also understand that history is made by Eleanors and Harrys -- and that we could be one of them. Steve Neal has paid us the ultimate honor of creating a book that empowers its readers."
-- from the Foreword, by Gloria Steinem
This collection of the never-before-seen correspondence of Harry S. Truman and Eleanor Roosevelt sheds important light on the relationship between two giants of twentieth-century American history.
While researching his previous book, Harry and Ike, Steve Neal came upon a trove of letters between President Harry S. Truman and Eleanor Roosevelt that had never been published. At the time they were written, the former first lady was Truman's appointee to the UN delegation -- the highest-ranking woman in his administration. These letters, collected in Eleanor and Harry, reveal the extraordinary story of a deep, often stormy, and enduring friendship throughout one of the most important eras in American history.
Eleanor and Harry grew up in different worlds. Their alliance was often strained, as they represented diverse, and sometimes opposing, political traditions. Truman, who had spent much of his youth on a Missouri farm, reflected the values and work ethic of rural America. Eleanor, born into New York society, was a constant advocate of reform. Despite their differences, they maintained a warm and sympathetic correspondence after Truman took office, and he designated Mrs. Roosevelt the "First Lady of the World."
In more than 250 letters, readers will discover Eleanor and Harry's discussion of the beginning of the Cold War, the rebuilding of postwar Europe, the creation of the state of Israel, and the start of the modern civil rights movement. Mrs. Roosevelt pressed Truman to give women more influence in his administration and declined to endorse his renomination in 1948, but she supported his difficult decision to drop the atomic bomb, his military intervention in Korea, and his controversial firing of General Douglas MacArthur. Though they disagreed on several occasions and Mrs. Roosevelt often offered to resign from the UN delegation, Truman valued her advice too much to allow her to quit. They remained close friends until her death in 1962.
Eleanor and Harry is an uncommonly personal look at some of the momentous events of the twentieth century and offers a rare, intimate insight into the challenging and enriching friendship between two great Americans.
Table of Contents
A Brief Epilogue