[Read] ➵ Eleanor and Hick ➲ Susan Quinn – Vansonphu.com
Gosh, I m so disappointed As a card carrying lesbian from birth, I m unclear how I had never heard of Eleanor and Hick So, you can only imagine my reaction when I saw this title I was beyond pumped Although full of information, I found this book boring and a struggle to get through It was neither warm nor intimate I actually feel bad that I disliked it so much le sigh 3 stars or 4 stars I honestly don t know As evidence of a love story through a changing time in our country s history, strong four stars Otherwise, it is rather dull Audiobook I found my mind wandering it was easy to lose track of the narrative because little action takes place I m glad I read it, just not happy I own it and can t sell it A Warm, Intimate Account Of The Love Between Eleanor Roosevelt And Reporter Lorena Hickok A Relationship That, Over Than Three Decades, Transformed Both Women S Lives And Empowered Them To Play Significant Roles In One Of The Most Tumultuous Periods In American HistoryIn , 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 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 This is going to be one of the blockbuster popular histories of the fall, certainly to be featured on NPR and other big book promoters like that, so I was super excited to get an advanced copy But unfortunately I was quite let down, because the book was actually kinda flat, and I was disappointed in it, though I ve thought about it for several days and I still can t totally put my finger on why it seemed so meh I am slightly crazy about Eleanor Roosevelt, who is America s greatest politician who never was, and I ve always just accepted, in my post everything child privilege, that she was A Lesbian with some dumb cheating man who wouldn t give her a divorce and that her partner was named Lorena Hickok, and that s that But the book, despite its stated thesis of documenting this great love affair, kinda made me question what I d grown up knowing about Eleanor Roosevelt instead Technically, the book was completely fine The historical methodology, totally fine for pop history, the writing, unexciting but fine, the balance of the twin biographies, fine There s nothing structurally wrong with the book.I think some of the problem is actually the subject matter and the historic materials at hand While the author lavishes you with quotes from both sides of their 30 years of correspondence, it is just plain hard to squeeze too much spice and sex from the Eleanor Hick letters, they are decidedly not like James Joyce to his mistress here The evidence presented supports a romantic affair, with a lot of XOXO letters, U Haul daydreaming about getting a sweet cottage together, a special friendship ring, and some cozy sleepovers in Eleanor s sweet gayborhood apartment where we can infer human beings did natural human being things, but it s striking how quickly it faded out to just correspondence about their political work and their health, far from the devoted lifetime romance the blurb promises you It s also pretty plain this was an unbalanced love, Hick loved Eleanor than she was loved in return Hick quit her hard won AP reporting job and devoted most of her life to her, pushed away other nice women she could have built a emotionally satisfying life with, Eleanor actively courted other emotional intimacies and didn t give up anything that I could notice I have been forced by this book, in short, to come to terms with the knowledge that Eleanor Roosevelt was a Bad Lesbian, and I m not very happy about it Which is fine, that s history for you, always crushing your history crushes, but the blurb promised me a vivid portrait of love and I got something like a depressing series of blurry paparazzi photos of Eleanor taking a good woman for granted I do think the author, however, has put together the most complete set of stories about Hick yet published, including fresh interviews with people who knew her in her final years, which is probably the main value of the book I didn t know anything but the bare facts about Hick before reading this, and I now am kinda crazy about her, this grumpy looking woman with a fat cigarette hanging out of her mouth just doing her thing, working hard for 30 years and never being sure if she d gotten a single position after being with Eleanor on her talent and without nepotism There s also some decent research on the other lesbian couples Eleanor and Hick hung out with, though I d have liked work on them, if only because it s comforting to know Eleanor and Hick knew other lesbians in what we d consider today healthy relationships, and fights the general historical misconception of ye olden days being nonstop lonely closeted homosexual tragedy So get the book if you want to read about the beginning of women s involvement in Democratic party politics and a particular badass lesbian journalist, but temper your expectations of a great inspirational romance, because it s just not here My copy of this book was free from the publisher for the purposes of review. The first half of this was really good Very readable and engaging I d heard of Hick before, but had no idea she and Eleanor had such a close probably romantic, possible sexual relationship.Then my library loan expired and I had to wait to read the second half, so some of my waning interest is probably due to that, but also the second half of the book was about Eleanor and Hick as individuals Which was still interesting, but wasn t what the book promised.Eleanor had other close, special friends, and, by the end of the book, I just wasn t sure that Hick was special than any other But then maybe the book wasn t trying to say she was, just that it WAS a special relationship. I found Eleanor and Hick The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady to be somewhat underwhelming I guess with a subtitle like that I expected there to be tons focus on the actual relationship love affair between Eleanor and Hick, but you don t really get that I mean, you get some, but a lot of this book is focused on what these two ladies did separately as opposed to together.I also would have liked it if this book included of the letters that Hick and Eleanor wrote each other I know that this book mentions that Hick destroyed some of the letters, particularly the ones that she herself wrote, but I would ve liked to read at least ONE of the letters word for word In fact, I think that this book would have benefited greatly if it was told in as somewhat epistolary style, but it wasn t.For the most part, I found Eleanor and Hick to be somewhat engaging But there were parts of it that dragged on a bit I did like the emphasis placed on Hick since I feel like she was just a tad interesting than Eleanor or rather it s easier to connect with Hick because you get a better feel of her rather than of Eleanor In the end, I still recommend Eleanor and Hick. Thank you First Reads for the opportunity to read Eleanor and Hick This book chronicles the love between two women and the influence that the First Lady had during the depression, the war and the years following the war I doubt that Mrs Roosevelt would have been as effective without the stimulus of Ms Hickock And, the focus of the book really is on Hick s influence rather than on the relationship between the two women So, the subtitle is a bit misleading No matter This is a tale that needed to be told. Lorena Hickok was Eleanor Roosevelt s very close and personal friend I cannot even begin to imagine what it must have been like to gay in 1930 s and 40 s it must be hard enough in our somewhat enlightened times Add to that imagine being a lesbian and being the First Lady Before reading this I had heard the rumors that Eleanor Roosevelt may have been a lesbian and I wanted to learn about that part of her life This book was fascinating but also slow moving and boring at times I get that the author did tons of research for this book but she could of slimmed it down a little It was just information overload I didn t need an entire chapter about friends who are never mentioned again Overall it was informative but it was also a little on the dull side. I m of two minds about this book I appreciated learning about Lorena Hickok s considerable positive contribution to FDR s years as President and as a tremendously affirmative support for Eleanor Roosevelt However, I did get bogged down with the breadth and detail of FDR s political career, within which I had to sometimes search for the nuggets of the story of Hick and Eleanor, to the point that I found myself avoiding that damn book , and making myself groaningly finish it The first half fulfills the promise of its title, and moves along briskly and well Hisk and Eleanor met on the Democratic convention trail, and gradually, Hick became Eleanor s sidekick and personal reporter Eventually, she was asked to move into the White House and found work through Eleanor, which kept them in close company Hick had grown up in abject poverty and her attitudes helped Eleanor to see America s Depression devastated people as those who needed action, and in turn influence her husband in government Eleanor, as well, gained incredible self confidence with Hick s mentoring her newspaper column, My Day, and eventual books, resulted from Hick s praise of their letters to one another Hick offered her heart, time and insight unconditionally to Eleanor for thirty years The politics of the times do reverberate with a degree of d j vu, the comparisons of slumping economies and jobless people being a critical issue in 1932 and today Some points, quotes and contrasts Hick s travels through Georgia, Florida, and North and South Carolina led her to conclude that the rural South had never progressed beyond slave labor When their slaves were taken away, they proceeded to establish a system of peonage that was as close to slavery as it possibly could be and included Whites as well as Blacks That s all the tenant farmer is a slave The complaint of Governor Talmadge, that federal funds were luring workers away and causing a labor shortage were false, Hicks concluded What really riled the establishmentin southern parlance, was that the government should take all that trouble for jest pore white trashy an Niggers The relief program was welcome for the terribly underpaid blacks The white growers liked it too, because it provided meagre sustenance in the off season , thus perpetuating a horrid cycle for poor underpaid and underemployed workers In 1934, the Works Progress Administration was formed, with useful projects This program of the New Deal provided than eight million jobs to hungry and needy Americans, while enormously improving the country s infrastructure, transforming its public spaces, and INSPIRING A WAVE OF CREATIVITY IN THE ARTS In Roosevelt s third campaign for President, when Europe needed help in WWII, he ran against Wendell Willkie, Republican, who was prone to making wild accusations at one point he accused FDR of telephoning Hitler and Mussolini and urging them to sell Czechoslovakia down the river at Munich Hick wrote Eleanor, Golly, he must be tough to cover So much extemporaneous speaking and always a chance to deny he said a thing, or say he was misinterpreted FDR accused Willkie of using totalitarian techniques repeating falsehoods over and over until people believed them The majority of Americans will not be scared by this blitzkrieg of verbal incendiary bombs Obviously, the American people of those times had a good barometer of what to fear Now, Eleanor continued to accrue a huge fan base while Hick was left to her own devices In many ways, I came to dislike Eleanor Roosevelt even as I believe I understood her Having suffered the terrible loss of both parents at a very early age, and harsh upbringing by her grandmother, Eleanor s behaviour showed evidence of disassociation Intimate relationships caused her to distance coldly, yet be remarkably and almost na vely generously loving to strangers who had no vested interest After Hick loved her, and Eleanor grew in confidence, the First Lady shrugged off intimacy and moved on to an adoring public and volunteer work Eleanor was a terrible mother, distant and really neglectful with their health that original trauma may have interfered with her ability to truly bond, because of the fear triggered by loss She compartmentalized her life, which is how she could be so effective in so many different areas but appalling in the ones closest to her She was compelled to rescue, so was a remarkable advocate and public personage , as Hicks described her Access to the person was very limited, and that took its toll on Lorena Hickok So worth the read Lots to contemplate Lots of detail, well researched and well written 4 stars. Eleanor and Hick The Love Affair that Shaped a First Lady by Susan Quinn shows us the personal life and independent career of Eleanor Roosevelt, and explores her friendships with women and men who enriched her life and whom she deeply loved Lorena Hickcok Hick was an AP journalist covering the White House when Eleanor met her Sharing a train car while campaigning started a relationship that helped Eleanor become a capable leader and broke Lorena s heart.Discovering her husband s love affair with her personal secretary moved Eleanor to offer a divorce Franklin s mother said it would ruin his political career Eleanor never forgave Franklin and their marriage was never again emotionally or physically intimate.Eleanor became involved with a series of friendships that offered her the love and companionship she needed The deep love expressed in her letters to Lorena Hickcock, as well as to male friends Joe Lash and her doctor David Gurewitsch, show her deep capacity to love If any of these relationships included sexual intimacy is uncertain and unknowable but Eleanor s letters to Hick express longing for physical contact and expressions of love.Eleanor had a history of close relationships to women from her time away at school when she idolized a teacher, to her close friendships with lesbian couples Eleanor also may have had problems with intimacy and closeness Her involvement in causes and political work and role as First Lady meant Hick hardly ever had Eleanor all to herself They took trips together, vacationed together, and spent special holidays together But it was never enough for Hick.Eleanor had a great heart and felt deeply, and fought courageously, for the underdog, the powerless, the marginal she championed equality for all This book also shows how Hick s reporting and WPA work brought to attention the grinding poverty and dangerous workplaces, the starvation and health crisis across the country during the Depression Hick was also a competent leader for Democratic Women.This book shows how these strong women, so disimilar in background and class, impacted FDR s policies and improved the lives of Americans.I recieved a free ebook through First to Read in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.