No Ordinary Time

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II

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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

No Ordinary Time is a monumental work, a brilliantly conceived chronicle of one of the most vibrant and revolutionary periods in the history of the United States. With an extraordinary collection of details, Goodwin masterfully weaves together a striking number of story lines—Eleanor and Franklin's marriage and remarkable partnership, Eleanor's life as First Lady, and FDR's White House and its impact on America as well as on a world at war. Goodwin effectively melds these details and stories into an unforgettable and intimate portrait of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt and of the time during which a new, modern America was born.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 768 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439126196 | 
  • June 2008
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Read an Excerpt

No Ordinary Time CHAPTER 1 “THE DECISIVE HOUR HAS COME”


On nights filled with tension and concern, Franklin Roosevelt performed a ritual that helped him to fall asleep. He would close his eyes and imagine himself at Hyde Park as a boy, standing with his sled in the snow atop the steep hill that stretched from the south porch of his home to the wooded bluffs of the Hudson River far below. As he accelerated down... see more

Reading Group Guide

Reading Group Discussion Points
  1. Goodwin characterizes FDR as a brilliant, energetic, cheerful man who rarely folded under pressure or displayed his innermost feelings. How might the elements of FDR's character and of his time have blended to create a man so successful in marshaling America's forces to defeat the Axis powers? Compare FDR to other wartime presidents such as Lincoln and Nixon. Why is FDR's place in history so secure?
  2. With deft ability, Goodwin brings Eleanor Roosevelt to life. Who was she and what were her concerns? How did she alter America's conception of the role of First Lady? What innovative and lasting contributions did she make to the civil rights movement and to women? Why was she called, during her last years, "the greatest woman in the world"? Compare Eleanor to other prominent First Ladies, such as Jacqueline Kennedy and Hillary Clinton.
  3. Franklin and Eleanor had a very unconventional marriage, even by today's standards. What bound them? What kept them from living more completely as man and wife? What helped to make them such an extraordinary team? How did the combination of their characters serve to create such a remarkable and successful partnership?
  4. Both Franklin and Eleanor found other people to fill the needs they could not seem to satisfy in one another. Eleanor at various times turned to her daughter, Anna, to Lorena Hickok, and to Joe Lash for her personal needs. What did these three
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