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When David Michaelis met First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, he was four years old and couldn’t have known that he’d later devote 11 years to studying the great “white-haired lady.” Backstage at the WGBH-TV studio where his mother produced Eleanor’s show, Prospects of Mankind, he simply asked her for a stick of Juicy Fruit gum. Now with EleanorPrizewinning biographer David Michaelis pulls back the curtain and delves into Roosevelt’s inner life as never before with this revelatory, intimate, and bold new cradle-to-grave look at one of the 20th Century’s greatest figures.

Eleanor Roosevelt spent most of her life in the spotlight, rising from a shy, self-conscious girl from a well-known wealthy family to an iconic First Lady and activist, yet few really knew her. Featuring new interviews and resources that no biographer has previously referenced, Michaelis recounts Eleanor’s troubled childhood with an alcoholic father and affectless mother, her complicated marriage and partnership with the great President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, her trailblazing 12 years as First Lady, and her humanitarian accomplishments. 

ELEANOR chronicles not only the timeline of her life and achievements, such as guiding the drafting of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but gives us a universally relatable story of a great woman’s lifelong search for love. Michaelis has a lively cinematic style and the lengthy odyssey flies by, as many of the best biographies do, and reaffirms her as an epic perennial figure of democracy whom the world treasures.

The Filson Historical Society, founded in 1884, is a privately-supported historical society dedicated to preserving the history of Kentucky and the Ohio Valley Region.