Eleanor and Hick

Eleanor and Hick

The Love Affair That Shaped A First Lady

Book - 2016
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A warm, intimate account of the love between Eleanor Roosevelt and reporter Lorena Hickok--a relationship that, over more than three decades, transformed both women's lives and empowered them to play significant roles in one of the most tumultuous periods in American history.
"In 1933, as her husband assumed the presidency, Eleanor Roosevelt embarked on the claustrophobic, duty-bound existence of the First Lady with dread. By that time, she had put her deep disappointment in her marriage behind her and developed an independent life--now threatened by the public role she would be forced to play. A lifeline came to her in the form of a feisty campaign reporter for the Associated Press: Lorena Hickok. Over the next thirty years, until Eleanor's death, the two women carried on an extraordinary relationship: They were, at different points, lovers, confidantes, professional advisors, and caring friends. They couldn't have been more different. Eleanor had been raised in one of the nation's most powerful political families and was introduced to society as a debutante before marrying her distant cousin, Franklin. Hick, as she was known, had grown up poor in rural South Dakota and worked as a servant girl after escaping an abusive home, eventually becoming one of the most respected reporters at the AP. Her admiration drew the buttoned-up Eleanor out of her shell, and the two fell in love. For the next thirteen years, Hick had her own room at the White House, next to the First Lady's. These fiercely compassionate women inspired each other to right the wrongs of the turbulent era in which they lived. During the Depression, Hick reported from the nation's poorest areas for the WPA, and Eleanor used these reports to lobby her husband for New Deal programs. Hick encouraged Eleanor to turn their frequent letters into her popular and long-lasting syndicated column 'My Day,' and to befriend the female journalists who became her champions. When Eleanor's tenure as First Lady ended with FDR's death, Hick urged her to continue to use her popularity for important causes--advice Eleanor took by leading the UN's postwar Human Rights Commission. At every turn, the bond between these two women was grounded in their determination to better their troubled world. Deeply researched and told with great warmth, Eleanor and Hick is a vivid portrait of love and a revealing look at how an unlikely romance influenced some of the most consequential years in American history"--Publisher description.
Publisher: New York :, Penguin Press,, 2016
ISBN: 9781594205408
Characteristics: 404 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 25 cm

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May 10, 2019

Relationship bio of two famous women against the backdrop of the Depression.
Good depiction of the pragmatic & novel solutions employed by the First Lady & president FDR during country-wide poverty.
Difficulty keeping up with the many others who played a part in these times- lots of names and roles.

Jan 09, 2019

Quinn used primary sources (mainly the letters between Lorena Hickok and Eleanor Roosevelt) to explore the relationship between Eleanor and Hick. Although the first part of the book covers the early years of both Lorena's and Eleanor's backgrounds, the work is primarily focused on their time together from 1932 to their deaths in the 1960s. Eleanor had raised her family and Hick was a renown Associated Press reporter when their lives became entwined. This book is also a front row seat to American politics from the Great Depression through the Kennedy era. The author is very skilled at using primary material to create a readable book focused on women's contributions to American culture. A fictional work, White Houses by Amy Bloom, doesn't wander too far from the historical record as portrayed in this work. Both works underscore the fact that Eleanor and Hick, despite their very different upbringings, were both starved for love and attention.

Oct 13, 2017

Sadly; somewhat boring and repetitive in nature, Could not finish it :(

Aug 25, 2017

I loved this book, I love Eleanor R. and am so glad she had someone like Hick who loved her back. Since Franklin was not faithful to her I am glad she had such a wide circle of her own friends and an intimate relationship. None of us needs to know how intimate but the letters that this book is based on show a loving relationship.
I have several other books on E.R. and F.R. and just E.R. herself but this really gave a great picture of her daily life in the White House and what little free time she had.
If you are an E.R. admirer you will enjoy this book.


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