Cover Image: Eleanor in the Village

Eleanor in the Village

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Member Reviews

This title is totally misleading. I've read quite a number of books about Mrs. Roosevelt, FDR, and their relationships inside and outside of marriage, and this book didn't provide much, if any new information from that which has already been written. 
The title implies a look at Eleanor's life in New York, independent of her role as First Lady, wife and mother, and while this is touched on lightly, it isn't written about in any depth but merely touched upon. 
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I found Eleanor in the Village to be informative, well-written, and inspirational. I highly enjoy books about historical figures and I had never read one on Eleanor Roosevelt until now. 

I really enjoyed learning about how she was such a pioneer for women’s rights and so accepting of all kinds of individuals. Hearing about her time in the East Village also made the story that much more interesting because it’s a part of her life that I believe hasn’t been talked about much until this story.

Jen Jarboe Russell’s writing was easy to understand, very well organized and provided insight and perspective into things in Eleanor’s life that I had never even heard of before reading this book. I would even go as far as to compare her writing to the legend himself, Erik Larson. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and would highly recommend it to history buffs, feminists, and narrative nonfiction fans.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for this ARC copy. My opinions are my own.

I have read a few books on Eleanor and was a little disappointed that there wasn't more details about her time in the Village. The book details her history - covering everything from childhood to adulthood. There is mention of FDR's affairs, life with her parents and her political  involvements. But, I kept waiting for more. I was hoping for a lot more detail about her experiences and life in the Village. 
It is a good book if you are a first time reader about Eleanor  and are looking for a quick overview of her life. But not if you are looking for more in-depth dirt, behind the scenes information.
Overall, it was well written and I did enjoy the recap of her life.
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Every time I walk through Washington Square Park, I look up at the building on the corner of MacDougal Street and Waverly Place. Eleanor Roosevelt lived at 29 Washington Square from 1942 to 1949, one of several residences she occupied in New York’s Greenwich Village throughout her life. Having read many biographies on Eleanor Roosevelt, the time she spent in Greenwich Village always remained a bit of a mystery. The details of her relationship with Nancy Cook and Marion Dickerman in the twenties are well-known, as is her teaching job and several other details, but what was it that made Greenwich Village so appealing to Eleanor Roosevelt, how did it influence her, what was life like for her living there during the twenties? There were so many questions I hoped to find answered in Eleanor in the Village, but by the time I finished I realized I learned nothing more than I already knew.

Eleanor in the Village sounded like a great premise, but it woefully under-delivered. I was hoping to read an in-depth and focused story of Eleanor Roosevelt’s life in Greenwich Village, but instead I merely got a compelling digest of her life with some reference to the Village thrown in. Either not enough information is available on the subject to warrant a book on the topic, or this was a rush-job without adequate research, but Eleanor in the Village lacks depth and left me wanting more. Very little of the book deals with the Village, and Ms. Russell never actually manages to show how Eleanor Roosevelt searched for, and eventually found, “Freedom and Identity in New York’s Greenwich Village.“

The history of Greenwich Village is compelling, but it runs alongside the history of Eleanor Roosevelt, instead of being integrated with it. The book merely skims the surface of how she acquired many of the progressive beliefs she became known for through the connections she made there. Some of those connections, and some of her activities, were controversial enough they caught the attention of J. Edgar Hoover, who compiled one of the biggest single files in the FBI on Eleanor Roosevelt. Quite some pages are spend on this dossier, but they add very little to the narrative that isn’t known already. In telling Eleanor Roosevelt’s life as a whole, instead of focusing on this particular period of her life, Eleanor in the Village does not live up to its full potential.

All in all, Eleanor in the Village is well-written, and I imagine a delightful read for those who don’t know much about Eleanor Roosevelt. For those who do, don’t let the book’s title mislead you into thinking it is something it isn’t.

Thanks to NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review
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This quick read provides a holistic overview of Eleanor Roosevelt's life and legacy. Others have noted, and I agree, that the book's title is a bit misleading as the focus of the book is not an extended deep dive into Eleanor's experiences in the Village. That said, the author seems to draw a parallel between the ideals and vibe of the Village and that of Eleanor herself. This book left me wanting to learn more about Eleanor's friendships and relationships throughout her life, especially those she cultivated while living in the Village. 

As an educator, I believe this book is an appropriate text for students of high school age and older. 

Many thanks to NetGalley and Scribner for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book
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I loved that this was a quick read that still taught me something new about an amazing, amazing woman. Occasionally I found a sentence or two out of place,, or could have been expanded on. As other reviewers have noted, it really isn't focused on the Village so much as an overview of Eleanor Roosevelt as an activist.
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I enjoyed this lovely quick read on the life of Eleanor Roosevelt. I had not previously read much about her at all so this was very informative for an overview. I would anticipate that someone who had read more about Eleanor would not have found this book to be particularly insightful, so I would recommend this more for someone whom this would be a new topic. I didn't learn as much about Greenwich Village as I had expected. Overall a nice read.
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This book is a bit misleading in that it implies that the emphasis is on Eleanor Roosevelt’s time in Greenwich Village. It is a brief overview of her life with a little emphasis on her relationships that she developed in Greenwich village. I have a number of biographies on her and many those give more meat to those relationships than you will find here. This is a good book for anyone who has not read much about Eleanor Roosevelt and is looking for a quick overview read of her life.

I received a free Kindle copy of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon and my nonfiction book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook page.
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Eleanor in the Village contends that Eleanor Roosevelt's association with New York's Greenwich Village and the friends she made there had a major impact on the formation of her personal identity outside of her marriage to Franklin. I had hoped to learn details about her activities in the Village.

Jan Jarboe Russell gives readers a brief biography of Eleanor's entire life, which for a reader like myself who has read numerous books on Eleanor and Franklin was a recap of known history. She does give space to the many friendships Eleanor made with Village friends, particularly lesbian friends who were very special to her. She shared her private getaway Val Kill with one lesbian couple, and taught in a school opened one of the partners. A female journalist became her close friend and lived in the White House for a time.

Russell mentions the activities that spurred Hoover to open a secret FBI file on her: support of unions and workers and civil rights activities considered communist or socialist in those days. Pages of those files are still unlocked.

I wanted to know more about her activities in the village. I was disappointed by the lack of depth. Russell mentions that Eleanor knew writers living in the Village, like Thomas Wolfe. I sure wanted to know more about this!

An interesting point is Russell's interpretation of Eleanor's relationships with both lesbian friends, like Lorena Hick, and men she loved, including her body guard, doctor, and Joe Lash. As she does also with Franklin's relationship with Missy LeHand, his 'office wife'. Most biographers admit there is no concrete evidence that any of these relationships were sexual in nature or romantic on the Roosevelts' side. Russell is surer.

What is clear is that after Eleanor discovered her husband's affair with her personal secretary, she formed her own 'families' to love, becoming closer to these people than her own children. 

Eleanor's story of personal growth is inspiring. That the 'ugly' child from a dysfunctional family, whose mother-in-law ruled her home and life, and whose husband betrayed her, turned out to be a respected, world renowned humanitarian leader could be a fairy tale. But there was no magic involved. With dear friends and strength of will, Eleanor transformed her life.

I would recommend this biography to those who are not familiar with Eleanor Roosevelt. In fact, it would be a good first biography for young adults.

I received a free egalley from the publisher through NetGalley. My review is fair and unbiased.
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Eleanor in the Village by Jan Jarboe Russell is a quick read for anyone wanting to look into the life of Eleanor Roosevelt. It places more of an emphasis on how her time spent in Greenwich Village in New York City and the groups of people she met there would go on to influence her public life as a first lady. This book isn't too long and the writing style is easy to digest and while it does focus on her time in Greenwich Village and it does give a general outline of her life and I think it would be a great jumping off point for anyone who wants to learn about the longest serving first lady in United States history.
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I have always enjoyed reading about the Roosevelts and this had a lot of
 personal information I haven't seen before so I found it particularly enjoyable.  I especially liked the parts about her time in the Village.  What I didn't care for was the comparison of Michelle Obama to Eleanor Roosevelt.  This is a ludicrous comparison and maybe editing this out before publication would be best!I

Thanks to Net Galley for allowing me to read this arc for my honest opinion.
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This book shared a personal side of Eleanor Roosevelt that went beyond her marriage to FDR. The author focuses on Eleanor’s attachment to Greenwich Village and the influence the Village had on her life. By every account, Eleanor was a brilliant and extraordinary woman, a progressive and independent thinker, and an advocate for women’s rights. She was a social justice hero who will be forever remembered in her own right.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Scribner for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.
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historical-figures, historical-places-events, historical-research, history-and-culture, biography, 20th-century*****

This well researched and documented biography of one of our most iconoclastic women of the twentieth century has an agenda and slant but is overall a study of how a wealthy but often neglected girl with a really lousy self image came to grow into a strong and effective woman who did her best for all in a time of transition for the whole world. I think that it is impressively well done and that the younger generations could learn a lot by reading this book.
We may not still suffer under J. Edgar Hoover and Joe McCarthy as Eleanor and the rest of America did but we have our own problems, some of which she actively fought against way back in the 1930s and beyond.
I requested and received a free temporary ebook copy from Scribner/Simon and Schuster via NetGalley. Thank you!
I wonder who knit more socks for the troops, Martha Washington or Eleanor Roosevelt.
Eleanor got more press.
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I have been fascinated with Eleanor Roosevelt ever since my parents took me to see the play "Eleanor" as a young girl. I went on to research her at the wee age of ten and used her as the subject of one of my history projects in fourth grade. To say I was intrigued by her would be an understatement.

Throughout the years, I always kept my eyes and ears out for any documentaries and books related to the Roosevelts', more specifically to Eleanor herself. I was delighted to begin and read Eleanor in the Village some twenty-five years after I first became interested in her life.

This book provides an insight into Eleanor when she was residing in Greenwich Village. The stories and insights provide a deeper view into why she was the way she was. After learning about how she was as a young woman, I now understand the prowess of her tenacity.

There isn't necessarily any new information in this book if you are an avid fan of Eleanor, but it does tie in together her driven nature and the roots of it in a way that is refreshing for the readers of today. 

Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I wish to thank NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book.  I have voluntarily read and reviewed it.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Place yourself in Greenwich Village during the roaring twenties, the depression and the Roosevelt presidency.  These are some of periods for this amazing story of the life of Eleanor Roosevelt from her early childhood until her death.  It draws attention to all the different facets of her life and how they wove the fabric of her decisions.  You learn the details of her marriage and life with President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  The book treats delicate matters in respectful ways.  It gave you the facts as they were but did not pass judgment or cause you to think less of either of them. Before reading this book I was not aware of most of details covered by this book.  I  found myself spellbound by what I was learning.  I love historical stories and this book taught me, entertained me and introduced me to an outstanding couple.

The influence of the Bohemian lifestyle available in Greenwich Village helped set the direction of Eleanor’s thinking and future work in the advancement of Women’s issues at the time.  Her independence resounds throughout.

The book is beautifully written and I am now a fan of Jan Russell.  Her interviews with family descendants give authenticity to the story.  Be sure you do not miss this one.  It will be excellent as a book club choice.
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This book enriched my understanding of Eleanor Roosevelt and the life she lived. I have liked Eleanor Roosevelt for years and it was nice to see how she lived and loved outside her life with husband FDR.
I like that the book talks about her upbringing and how it shape how Eleanor related to people the rest of her life.  Some of the relationships in this book may upset some people, but I understand complete how someone would embrace that life style or at least be associated with it. The book also talks about how much Eleanor helped FDR become president and did the leg work for him and became his eyes while president. There are a places in this book that were disturbing because of some peoples paranoia and distrust in others who tried to improve the status quo.  
The flow of the book is wonderful and it was very easy to read.  I enjoy every minute I spent with the book and I wish I could have known Eleanor Roosevelt. 

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This is a highly readable, interesting and entertaining book about a little known but influential time in Eleanor’s life.  I have read several excellent biographies in the past, the most recent being ‘Eleanor’ by David Michaelis. In this latest offering, Jan Jarboe Russell concentrates on an incredible, eye opening period that inspired Eleanor’s political views and contributed to her years as a progressive thinker and leader. The village was a safe harbor for artists, bohemians, the outcasts of society and a group of ‘New Women’ seeking social change, sexual freedoms and equal pay. Eleanor joined forces. Her involvement and her voice in the political arena was greatly and her transformation can be traced to her Village days. Eleanor remained forever linked to Greenwich Village, purchasing a Washington Square apartment where she lived during the Second World War and after Franklin’s death.
Eleanor was nothing less than remarkable. Her progressive thinking, advocacy, activism and fight for civil rights touched many lives and her impact is everlasting.
My thanks to NetGalley and Scribner for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I have not read many books on Eleanor Roosevelt and found Eleanor in the Village to be quite eye-opening. I loved how her parent's world was presented and, not being part of the elite, I found it entertaining and laughable at the lengths women went to just to be seen by the right people. As the story progresses, we follow Eleanor through marriage, childbirth, and dealing with Franklin's adultery. What resulted was a political partnership that allowed both to grow and pursue their own interests. Russell's book was entertaining, insightful, educational, and filled with quotes that promote future reading. Overall, this is a great read for a rainy day or long business trip.

Thank you NetGalley and Scribner for the opportunity to read an advance reader's copy.
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I would call this a light history. Russell doesn't proffer any new facts that haven't been told and retold in countless other books about Eleanor Roosevelt. She does do a nice job of tieing Eleanor's attachment to Greenwich Village, but tends to extrapolate on other areas that really don't fit with the narrative. At times it was like the author was trying to include every major name in the book for some remote connection to her theme. It's still a decent look at Eleanor's life. The most interesting thing was the mention of 12 pages of the FBI file on ER that  have still not been released.
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A very interesting look at Eleanor Roosevelt’s time in Greenwich Village.A time where may of her opinions were formed.A time where she could be herself live her life.I’m always interested bin learning more about her and. This book was aside of her life I knew nothing about.#netgalley #scribner
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