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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 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. 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 she escaped 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 quickly fell in love. For the next thirteen years, Hick had her own room at the White House, next door to the First Lady. 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 pushed her to continue to use her popularity for good—advice Eleanor took by leading the UN’s postwar Human Rights Commission. At every turn, the bond these women shared 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.
The relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Associated Press reporter Lorena Hickok has sparked vociferous debate ever since 1978, when archivists at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library discovered eighteen boxes filled with letters the two women exchanged during their thirty-year friendship. But until now we have been offered only the odd quotation or excerpt from their voluminous correspondence. In Empty Without You, journalist and historian Rodger Streitmatter has transcribed and annotated 300 letters that shed new light on the legendary, passionate, and intense bond between these extraordinary women. Written with the candor and introspection of a private diary, the letters expose the most private thoughts, feelings, and motivations of their authors and allow us to assess the full dimensions of a remarkable friendship. From the day Eleanor moved into the White House and installed Lorena in a bedroom just a few feet from her own, each woman virtually lived for the other. When Lorena was away, Eleanor kissed her picture of "dearest Hick" every night before going to bed, while Lorena marked the days off her calendar in anticipation of their next meeting. In the summer of 1933, Eleanor and Lorena took a three-week road trip together, often traveling incognito. The friends even discussed a future in which they would share a home and blend their separate lives into one. Perhaps as valuable as these intimations of a love affair are the glimpses this collection offers of an Eleanor Roosevelt strikingly different from the icon she has become. Although the figure who emerges in these pages is as determined and politically adept as the woman we know, she is also surprisingly sarcastic and funny, tender and vulnerable, and even judgmental and petty -- all less public but no less important attributes of our most beloved first lady.
For readers of The Paris Wife and The Swans of Fifth Avenue comes a “sensuous, captivating account of a forbidden affair between two women” (People)—Eleanor Roosevelt and “first friend” Lorena Hickok. Lorena Hickok meets Eleanor Roosevelt in 1932 while reporting on Franklin Roosevelt’s first presidential campaign. Having grown up worse than poor in South Dakota and reinvented herself as the most prominent woman reporter in America, “Hick,” as she’s known to her friends and admirers, is not quite instantly charmed by the idealistic, patrician Eleanor. But then, as her connection with the future first lady deepens into intimacy, what begins as a powerful passion matures into a lasting love, and a life that Hick never expected to have. She moves into the White House, where her status as “first friend” is an open secret, as are FDR’s own lovers. After she takes a job in the Roosevelt administration, promoting and protecting both Roosevelts, she comes to know Franklin not only as a great president but as a complicated rival and an irresistible friend, capable of changing lives even after his death. Through it all, even as Hick’s bond with Eleanor is tested by forces both extraordinary and common, and as she grows as a woman and a writer, she never loses sight of the love of her life. From Washington, D.C. to Hyde Park, from a little white house on Long Island to an apartment on Manhattan’s Washington Square, Amy Bloom’s new novel moves elegantly through fascinating places and times, written in compelling prose and with emotional depth, wit, and acuity. Praise for White Houses “Amy Bloom brings an untold slice of history so dazzlingly and devastatingly to life, it took my breath away.”—Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife “Vivid and tender . . . Bloom—interweaving fact and fancy—lavishes attention on [Hickok], bringing Hick, the novel’s narrator and true subject, to radiant life.”—O: The Oprah Magazine “Radiant . . . an indelible love story, one propelled not by unlined youth and beauty but by the kind of soul-mate connection even distance, age, and impossible circumstances couldn’t dim . . . Bloom’s goal is less to relitigate history than to portray the blandly sexless figurehead of First Lady as something the job rarely allows those women to be—a loving, breathing human being. And she does it brilliantly.”—Entertainment Weekly
"إن كنت ترغب في أن تعي مجدداً متعة الأكل، معجزة الطعام، والقوة التي يملكها كل واحد منا من خلال الطريقة التي نحيا بها حياتنا، قدم لنفسك خدمة. احصل على نسخة من كتاب (حصاد من أجل الأمل)؛ أنا أعدك بأن حياتك سوف تتغير بطرق لا تحصى، وجميعها للأفضل... إنه أحد تلك الكتب العظيمة النادرة بحق والتي بإمكانها تغيير العالم. - جون روبنز، مؤلف كتاب (ثورة الطعام) وكتاب (غذاء من أجل أميركا جديدة). تقوم جين غودول في كتاب (حصاد من أجل الأمل) بإقناعنا بأنه يتوجب علينا أن نقيم علاقة جديدة مع الطعام، علاقة تكون ملهمة ولذيذة، وتحافظ في الوقت ذاته على التقاليد وتشكل عملاً من أعمال الحماية. - أليس ووترز، مؤلفة كتاب (فاكهة شي بانيس) وكتاب (خضراوات شي بانيس). أُحب هذا الكتاب؛ إن روح جين غودول السخية والمرحة تطغى على كل صفحة آسرة منه. (حصاد من أجل الأمل) حافل بالملاحظات التي توسع آفاق العقل... إنه نداء شخصي لطيف لإيقاظنا وهو يقول لنا أن بإمكاننا استعادة حكمة أجسادنا. - فرانسيس مورلاپي، مؤلفة كتاب (حد الأمل) و(غذاء من أجل كوكب صغير). إن لم تكن قد فكرت في الطعام الذي تتناوله والخيارات التي تقوم بها - وحتى وإن كنت قد فعلت - فهذا كتاب مهم يجب أن تقرأه. - ديبورا ماديسون، مؤلفة كتاب (الطهي النباتي للجميع) و(نكهات محلية: الطهي والأكل من أسواق مزارعي أميركا). مدخل شفاف إلى عالم الطعام، حافل بالحكايا، يكشف كيف يؤثر إنتاج طعامنا علينا وكيف تؤثر خياراتنا على البيئة... اعتبر هذا الكتاب قائمة التسوق الخاصة بك. - بول هوكن، مؤلف كتاب (علم بيئة التجارة) أنت تسنح لك الفرصة لتغيير كوكب الأرض ثلاث مرات يومياً. أنت بوسعك أن تغيره باعتماد طرق مهمة، إذا ما اتبعت فقط بعض النصائح الحكيمة لهذا الكتاب. - بيل ماكبين، مؤلف كتاب (البيت المتجول: مسيرة طويلة عبر أكثر المشاهد الطبيعية مدعاة للتفاؤل) جين غودول: هي المرجع الأول في العالم لقردة الشمبانزي. وشخصية عالمية معروفة من دعاة المحافظة على الموارد الطبيعية. أنشأت مؤسسة جين غودول، وحازت على جوائز متميزة عدة في المجالات العلمية. والدكتورة غودول هي أيضاً مؤلفة كتب كثيرة لاقت استحساناً بما فيها الكتاب الأكثر رواجاً (داعٍ للأمل). المؤلفة الرئيسة لهذا الكتاب هي ( جين غودول) المعروفة دوليًّا بأم الشمبانزي؛ نظرًا لدراستها المتعمقة له ولاهتمامها الكبير بمصيره. وإذا كان الشمبانزي هو مدخل هذه الناشطة والعالمة الكبيرة للاهتمام بالبيئة والغذاء، إلا أنها في هذا الكتاب ـ ومعها مؤلفان مشاركان ـ تتقدم خطوات أبعد لتطرح السؤال البيئي الأشمل: (كيف يمكننا تغيير عالم تُتَّخَذ فيه القرارات التي تؤثر في صحتنا وصحة كوكبنا من أجل أن تقدم الشركات الجشعة بيان النمو الاقتصادي في الاجتماع القادم لحملة الأسهم؟). والكتاب بأسلوبه البسيط، المفعم بالمشاعر، وعبر 19 فصلاً، هو محاولة للإجابة عن هذا السؤال المهم وعن عشرات غيره، وهو نداء صارخ للملايين من اللامبالين. وبرنامج عمل عام، أو نافذة وعي لنا جميعًا؛ لعلنا نستطيع أن نعيد ارتباطنا بالطبيعة التي نحن جزء منها، وبالطعام الذي نأكله بوصفه نظامًا غذائيًا يعتمد بصورة أكبر على الطبيعة، ولاسيما في هذه المرحلة الحرجة من التاريخ البشري حيث نوشك على تبديد أو تسميم جميع الموارد الغذائية التي تمدنا بالحياة خلال نصف القرن المقبل. العبيكان للنشر
Ben Franklin saved the American Revolution by seducing French Women. A gay love affair between President James Buchanan and Senator William King aided the secession movement. Woodrow Wilson's girlfriend dictated his letters to the German Kaiser. And lesbian relationships inspired Eleanor Roosevelt to become a revolutionary crusader for equal rights. The colorful sex lives of America's most powerful leaders have influenced social movements, government policies, elections and even wars, yet they are so whitewashed by historians that people think Thomas Jefferson and Abe Lincoln were made of marble, not flesh and blood. But the truth is about to come out. In One Nation Under Sex, free speech activist and notorious Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt teams up with Columbia University history professor David Eisenbach to peek behind the White House bedroom curtains and document how hidden passions have shaped public life. They unpack salacious rumors and outright scandals, showing how private affairs have driven pivotal decisions—often with horrific consequences. Along the way, they explore the origins of America's fascination with sex scandals and explain how we can put aside out political moralism and begin focusing on the real problems that threaten our nation.
An extraordinary novel portraying one of the greatest untold love stories in American politics. In 1932, New York City, top reporter Lorena “Hick” Hickok starts each day with a front page byline—and finishes it swigging bourbon and planning her next big scoop. But an assignment to cover FDR’s campaign—and write a feature on his wife, Eleanor—turns Hick’s hard-won independent life on its ear. Soon her work, and the secret entanglement with the new first lady, will take her from New York and Washington to Scotts Run, West Virginia, where impoverished coal miners’ families wait in fear that the New Deal’s promised hope will pass them by. Together, Eleanor and Hick imagine how the new town of Arthurdale could change the fate of hundreds of lives. But doing what is right does not come cheap, and Hick will pay in ways she never could have imagined. Undiscovered Country artfully mixes fact and fiction to portray the intense relationship between this unlikely pair. Inspired by the historical record, including the more than three thousand letters Hick and Eleanor exchanged over a span of thirty years, McNees tells this story through Hick’s tough, tender, and unforgettable voice. A remarkable portrait of Depression-era America, this novel tells the poignant story of how a love that was forced to remain hidden nevertheless changed history.
C-SPAN's year-long history series, "First Ladies: Influence and Image," aired in 2013 and 2014 and was devoted to revealing the private lives and public actions of 43 iconic American women. First Ladies captures the spirit of this special series by assembling its impressive collection of contemporary first ladies historians into book form. Their original interviews, condensed into an essay about each first lady, create intimate portraits of these women, their lives, ambitions, and their unique partnerships with their presidential spouses. Susan Swain and the C-SPAN team elicit the details that made these women who they were. You'll read how Martha Washington intentionally set the standards followed by first ladies for the next century; how Lucretia Garfield calmed the nation in the wake of her husband's shooting just four months into his presidency; and how Mamie Eisenhower harnessed the advent of television to reinforce her and her husband's positive public images. First Ladies informs its readers in interesting ways about America's most well-known first ladies, such as Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Mary Todd Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jacqueline Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, and Michelle Obama. Yet, some of its very best gems are contained in the lives of first ladies whose stories had been lost to the pages of history or overshadowed by their powerful presidential partners—Louisa Catherine Adams, Jane Pierce, Sarah Polk, Frances Cleveland, and Edith Wilson. What is ultimately unraveled in the book is the untold half of the story: how American women lived, worked, and thrived over 200+ years of history. The role of first ladies in our political culture has long been a subject of lively debate. This book provides an intimate historical look at the interesting women who persevered in the glare that is the White House, supporting their families and famous husbands and sometimes changing history. You'll find it illuminating, entertaining, and ultimately inspiring. Illustrated, and including both the basic biographical information and a rich look at the public and inner lives of the first ladies, this book is a resource, a fascinating read, and a beautiful gift.

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