The Roosevelts

In 1932, as her husband assumed the presidency, Eleanor Roosevelt entered 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.

Susan Quinn has written a book about their unique relationship entitled Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady

Susan Quinn is the author of Furious Improvisation: How the WPA and a Cast of Thousands Made High Art Out of Desperate Times and Marie Curie: A Life, among other books. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, and other publications. She is the former president of PEN New England.

In The Wars of the Roosevelts: The Ruthless Rise of America's Greatest Political Family, William J. Mann presents a modern revisionist biographical history of one of America’s greatest and most influential families—the Roosevelts—exposing heretofore unknown family secrets and detailing complex family rivalries with his signature cinematic flair.

While Eleanor revolutionized the role of First Lady with her outspoken passion for human rights, Alice made the most of her insider connections to influence politics—including doing as much to defeat the League of Nations as anyone in elective office. Hissing Cousins: The Untold Story of Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Roosevelt Longworth is a double biography of the first cousins whose political perspectives could not be more dissimilar.

Authors Mike Peyser and Timothy Dwyer will be at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck, April 11th at 7:00 PM for a presentation, Q&A and book signing.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns has tackled topics as diverse as baseball, the Civil War and prohibition. This time, the film is The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. It’s a seven-part, 14-hour documentary directed and produced by Burns and written by longtime Burns collaborator Geoffrey Ward. The film interlaces the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of one of the most prominent families in American politics. It airs on PBS in September. Burns was at the Franklin D.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

A documentary on the Roosevelts by Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns airs on PBS in September. Burns was at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park earlier this summer where WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne caught up with him.