No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in WWII
by Doris Kearns Goodwin
(Simon & Schuster, 1994, 759 pages)
No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin is a fact-filled recounting of the lives and times of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. The book chronicles the period from May 1940 when Hitler invaded Holland, Luxembourg, Belgium, and France until the end of World War II in 1945. In 1940, Franklin Roosevelt was in his second term as President. Eleanor Roosevelt was augmenting the traditional role of First Lady by advocating for civil rights, women’s rights, and various other social reforms. The reader journeys with the Roosevelts through the beginning and ending of World War II and the election of Franklin Roosevelt to unprecedented third and fourth terms in the White House. Along the way, the reader is given a “behind the scenes” look at the decisions made during World War II.
No Ordinary Time is a mini United States history lesson. For example, did you know that gasoline was rationed during WWII not to save gasoline, but to conserve rubber which was needed for the war effort? Did you know that Franklin Roosevelt was instrumental in the birth and the naming of the United Nations?
While I enjoyed No Ordinary Time, it was easy to get overloaded with the quantity of names and events. Among other sources, Doris Kearns Goodwin used manuscripts, letters, diaries, memoirs, and numerous personal interviews to research this chronicle of the Roosevelts. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in World War II, Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency, Eleanor Roosevelt’s time as First Lady, or the relationship between Franklin and Eleanor.