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Download Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady Audiobook, by Susan Quinn Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Susan Quinn Narrator: Kimberly Farr Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2016 ISBN: 9780735289390
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A warm, intimate account of the love between Eleanor Roosevelt and reporter Lorena Hickok—a relationship that, over more than three decades, transformed both women’s lives and empowered them to play significant roles in one of the most tumultuous periods in American history.

In 1932, 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 more 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 warmth and charm, Eleanor and Hick is at once a tender, moving portrait of love and a surprising new look at some of the most consequential years in American history.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A powerfully moving and vital story that could not have been told in its day and alters radically what we thought we knew about America’s most influential and best-loved first lady.”

    Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize–winning author

  • “Permits us to see how Eleanor Roosevelt’s long, intimate relationship with Lorena Hickok helped her become not just a first lady but a great one.”

    Nigel Hamilton, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A parallel portrait of two unconventional women caught up in the maelstrom of twentieth-century politics and world affairs—one transcending the confines of her traditional role, the other ultimately pushed to the sidelines.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “An intimate book, tender and wise.”

    Washington Post

  • “Quinn writes about both women with great sensitivity, from the childhood wounds they both bore to their influence on one another as writers and social activists. Meticulously researched, engagingly written, and emotionally resonant, this is a welcome addition to the Roosevelt book shelf.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Brings to light a different side of the early-twentieth-century White House, revealing the significant impact of this unconventional relationship on American political and cultural history.”

    Harper’s Bazaar

  • “A relentlessly captivating study of two remarkable individuals who helped extend the roles of American women in the public policy realm.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • An NPR Best Book of the Year Selection
  • A Harper’s Bazaar Pick of Best Books of 2016
  • A Library Journal Editor’s Pick for Fall 2016 
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About the Author

Susan Quinn is the author of Furious Improvisation: How the WPA and a Cast of Thousands Made High Art Out of Desperate Times and Marie Curie: A Life, among other books. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Atlantic, and other publications. She is a former president of PEN New England.

About the Narrator

Kimberly Farr is an actress and eight-time winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award for narration. She has appeared on Broadway and at the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Roundabout Theatre, Playwright’s Horizons, and the American Place. She created the role of “Eve” in Arthur Miller’s first and only musical, Up from Paradise, which was directed by the author. She appeared with Vanessa Redgrave in the Broadway production of The Lady from the Sea and has acted in regional theaters across the country, including a performance in the original production of The 1940’s Radio Hour at Washington, DC’s Arena Stage.