In On Dupont Circle: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and the Progressives Who Shaped Our World (2012, Counterpoint Press), Author James Srodes offers an inside and sometimes scandalous portrait of the twelve young men and women who made up the famous Dupont Circle Set.
Prize-winning author James Srodes offers a vivid and scintillating portrait of the twelve young men and women, who, on the eve of World War I, came together in Washington, D.C.’s Dupont Circle neighborhood. They were ambitious for personal and social advancement, and what bound them together was a sheer determination to remake America and the rest of the world in their progressive image. Continue reading →
A long overdue biography of the nation’s first African American woman judge elevates Jane Matilda Bolin to her rightful place in American history as an activist, integrationist, jurist, and outspoken public figure in the political and professional milieu of New York City before the onset of the modern Civil Rights movement. Jacqueline A. McLeod’s, Daughter of the Empire State: The Life of Judge Jane Bolin is published by the University of Illinois Press (2011). Bolin was appointed to New York City’s domestic relations court in 1939 for the first of four ten-year terms. When she retired in 1978, her career had extended well beyond the courtroom. Drawing on archival materials as well as a meeting with Bolin in 2002, historian Jacqueline A. McLeod reveals how Bolin parlayed her judicial position to impact significant reforms of the legal and social service system in New York.
Beginning with Bolin’s childhood and educational experiences at Wellesley and Yale, Daughter of the Empire State chronicles Bolin’s relatively quick rise through the ranks of a profession that routinely excluded both women and African Americans. Deftly situating Bolin’s experiences within the history of black women lawyers and the historical context of high-achieving black New Englanders, McLeod offers a multi-layered analysis of black women’s professionalization in a segregated America.
Linking Bolin’s activist leanings and integrationist zeal to her involvement in the NAACP, McLeod analyzes Bolin’s involvement at the local level as well as her tenure on the organization’s national board of directors. An outspoken critic of the discriminatory practices of New York City’s probation department and juvenile placement facilities, Bolin also co-founded, with Eleanor Roosevelt, the Wiltwyck School for boys in upstate New York and campaigned to transform the Domestic Relations Court with her judicial colleagues. McLeod’s careful and highly readable account of these accomplishments inscribes Bolin onto the roster of important social reformers and early civil rights trailblazers.
Author Jacqueline A. McLeod is an associate professor of history and African & African American studies at Metropolitan State College of Denver and co-editor of Crossing Boundaries: Comparative History of Blacks in Diaspora.
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A new exhibition opened Saturday at the Woodstock School of Art (2470 Route 212, Woodstock) entitled “A New Deal for Youth: Eleanor Roosevelt, Val-Kill Industries and the Woodstock Resident Work Center”.
The exhibit offers a rare chance to see furniture, pewter, and weavings from the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites’ collection of Val-Kill Industries pieces- photographs and historical documents from the Woodstock School of Art’s and Woodstock Historical Society’s collections- and video recollections of living descendants of some of the young people who worked at the Craft Center. The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, will remain on view through November 5th. Gallery hours are Monday-Saturday, 9am-3pm.
Last year’s FDR’S Shadow: Louis Howe, The Force That Shaped Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt by Syracuse resident Julie Fenster has been released on paperback.
In 1921, Franklin Delano Roosevelt—the 1920 vice presidential candidate on the losing Democratic ticket—was overcome by an illness that left him unable to walk. He retired to his family estate in Hyde Park with his wife, Eleanor, who was suffering emotional problems of her own. For the Roosevelts, it was the low point of their lives. At that juncture, Roosevelt’s adviser, Louis Howe, moved in with them, lifting the Roosevelts’ spirits and helping to maintain Franklin’s connection to the world of politics. Three years later, against all odds, FDR was once again a key player on the national political stage and Eleanor had blossomed into the public figure we all know and love. With her signature insight and wit, Julie Fenster presents a vivid, behind-the-scenes portrait of the world of the Roosevelts during this critical time, and the unique relationship Franklin, Eleanor, and Louis developed.
The Washington Times described their realtionship: “Indeed every member of both houses of the Congress has at least one ‘dragon-at-the-gate’ who rations access to the boss, who edits the speeches, and keeps a check on promises that cannot be kept. But the Howe-Roosevelt symbiotic relationship is a darker story and Ms. Fenster brings a new depth to it.”
Julie M. Fenster is the critically acclaimed author of The Case of Abraham Lincoln and is the co-author with Douglas Brinkley of the New York Times bestseller Parish Priest and the forthcoming PBS documentary Faith and the Founders of America. Her previous books include the award-winning Ether Day and Race of the Century. She lives in Syracuse, New York. Note: Books noticed on this site have been provided by the publishers. Purchases made through this Amazon link help support this site.
The New-York Historical Society will host a discussion on Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Thursday, March 31, 2011, 6:30 p.m, at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th St. at Central Park West, to be presented in conjunction with the building of the FDR Four Freedoms Park. The program features historian Douglas Brinkley, Ambassador William J. vanden Heuvel, Roosevelt scholar William E. Leuchtenburg, and author Hazel Rowley. In his State of the Union Address on January 6, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt looked forward to a world in which everyone enjoyed four essential freedoms: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. These values were central to both Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, who made it her personal mission to codify those rights in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Experts discuss the speech and its far-reaching influence, and also delve into this extraordinary couple’s influence on one another.
William E. Leuchtenburg is a professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a former Bancroft Prize winner, and the author of six books on FDR. Hazel Rowley is the author of several books, including Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: An Extraordinary Marriage. William J. vanden Heuvel is Chairman of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, LLC, as well as Founder and Chair Emeritus of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute. Douglas Brinkley (moderator) is a professor of history at Rice University and a fellow in history at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. He is a member of the board of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.
The cost is $20 for non-members- $10 for members. Call SmartTix at 212 868-4444 or visit SmartTix.com to purchase tickets.
Photo: The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park is a memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Four Freedoms, located at the southernmost point of Roosevelt Island, in the East River between Manhattan Island and Queens in New York City. It was designed by the architect Louis Kahn.