A candid and insightful look at an era and a life through the eyes of one of the most remarkable Americans of the twentieth century, First Lady and humanitarian Eleanor Roosevelt.

The daughter of one of New York’s most influential families, niece of Theodore Roosevelt, and wife of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt witnessed some of the most remarkable decades in modern history, as America transitioned from the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era, and the Depression to World War II and the Cold War.

A champion of the downtrodden, Eleanor drew on her experience and used her role as First Lady to help those in need. Intimately involved in her husband’s political life, from the governorship of New York to the White House, Eleanor would eventually become a powerful force of her own, heading women’s organizations and youth movements, and battling for consumer rights, civil rights, and improved housing. In the years after FDR’s death, this inspiring, controversial, and outspoken leader would become a U.N. Delegate, chairman of the Commission on Human Rights, a newspaper columnist, Democratic party activist, world-traveler, and diplomat devoted to the ideas of liberty and human rights.

This single volume biography brings her into focus through her own words, illuminating the vanished world she grew up, her life with her political husband, and the post-war years when she worked to broaden cooperation and understanding at home and abroad.

The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt includes 16 pages of black-and-white photos.

From one of the world’s most celebrated and admired public figures, Eleanor Roosevelt, a collection of her most treasured sayings—the perfect gift for Mother’s Day, graduation, and a new generation of feminists.

With a foreword by Speaker Nancy Pelosi

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. We’ve all heard this powerful Eleanor Roosevelt adage—it is, perhaps, one of her best known. A wise leader, she knew the power of words, and throughout her work as First Lady, a UN representative, and advocate for human rights, women, youth, minorities, and workers, she was a prolific writer and speaker.

Eleanor’s wise words on government, race and ethnicity, freedom, democracy, economics, women and gender, faith, children, war, peace, and our everyday lives leap off the page in memorable quotations such as:

·       One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes.

·       Progress is rarely achieved by indifference.

·       I am convinced that every effort must be made in childhood to teach the young to use their own minds. For one thing is sure: If they don’t make up their minds, someone will do it for them.

·       Unless people are willing to face the unfamiliar they cannot be creative in any sense, for creativity always means the doing of the unfamiliar, the breaking of new ground.

…and these are just a few.

At this politically and culturally divided moment in our nation’s history, Eleanor Roosevelt’s quotes have an even deeper resonance—as moving and insightful as they are timely. What Are We For? is a celebration of a cultural icon, and a powerful reminder of Eleanor Roosevelt’s extraordinary contributions to our country, and the world.



Las espléndidas páginas de Lo que aprendí viviendo no pretenden ser unas memorias al uso. Tampoco un manual de autoayuda. En ellas se reúnen las palabras de una mujer sabia que caminó despacio, pisó fuerte y llegó lejos, sonriendo.

«Nadie me hará sentir inferior sin mi consentimiento.»

Bastan estas palabras de Eleanor Roosevelt para darse cuenta de que detrás de su sonrisa afable había un espíritu fuerte y combativo, dispuesto siempre a aprender algo nuevo y a luchar por una causa justa.

Cuando escribió Lo que aprendí viviendo corrían los años sesenta; Eleanor ya se había retirado de la vida pública y vivía rodeada de hijos, nietos y amigos. Quedaban lejos sus años como primera dama de la Casa Blanca, pero aún le sobraba energía para contar sus experiencias. No le costó confesar que había sido una chica tímida, a menudo ignorante de los temas que se comentaban en las conferencias y banquetes a los que acudía con su marido, pero sus ganas de saber y el propósito de no quedarse atrás le ayudaron a seguir adelante.

Con el pasar del tiempo también descubrió que nadie se convierte en heroína de la noche a la mañana: hay que andar paso a paso y echar una pizca de humor a la vida para descubrir que un problema no es tal si lo tomamos como un reto, que nuestro tiempo es valioso y hay que disfrutarlo, y que podemos encontrar un espacio propio aunque estemos rodeadas de funcionarios, cenando con John Fitzgerald Kennedy o charlando con Frank Sinatra.

«Es una delicia desde la primera a la última página. Está llena de desparpajo, fina inteligencia y emoción, [...] con una gran capacidad para resumir sus brillantes conclusiones en una frase sencilla.»
Salvador Gómez Valdés, La aventura del saber (TV2)

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