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Download Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage Audiobook, by Hazel Rowley Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (922 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Hazel Rowley Narrator: Tavia Gilbert Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2010 ISBN: 9781427211118
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Franklin Delano and Eleanor Roosevelt's marriage is one of the most celebrated and scrutinized partnerships in presidential history. It raised eyebrows in their lifetimes and has only become more controversial since their deaths. From FDR's lifelong romance with Lucy Mercer to Eleanor's purported lesbianism—and many scandals in between—the American public has never tired of speculating about the ties that bound these two headstrong individuals. Some claim that Eleanor sacrificed her personal happiness to accommodate FDR's needs; others claim that the marriage was nothing more than a gracious façade for political convenience. No one has told the full story until now.

In this groundbreaking new account of the marriage, Hazel Rowley describes the remarkable courage and lack of convention—private and public—that kept FDR and Eleanor together. She reveals a partnership that was both supportive and daring. Franklin, especially, knew what he owed to Eleanor, who was not so much behind the scenes as heavily engaged in them. Their relationship was the product of FDR and Eleanor's conscious efforts—a partnership that they created according to their own ambitions and needs.

In this dramatic and vivid narrative, set against the great upheavals of the Depression and World War II, Rowley paints a portrait of a tender lifelong companionship, born of mutual admiration and compassion. Most of all, she depicts an extraordinary evolution—from conventional Victorian marriage to the bold and radical partnership that has made Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt go down in history as one of the most inspiring and fascinating couples of all time.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Hazel Rowley has gone beyond the gossip and gives us a book of real insight and a tale that is as sympathetic as it is cautionary. I will go so far as to say that if you are going to read only one book about this extraordinary couple, this is the one. James Srodes, The Washington Times
  • Here is the most consequential love story of the twentieth century, told with verve, swift narrative drive, and clear-eyed fondness for the lovers. 'Clear-eyed' because Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt's marriage was as difficult as it was momentous: How many husbands have ever had to suffer being nagged about the fate of Yugoslavia? How many wives have had to endure the deflections and evasions of a dissimulator as artful as FDR? Hazel Rowley tells a tale as full of betrayals as it is of a fundamental fidelity, while detailing a partnership so powerful that it has shaped the lives of all of us who read about it today. Richard Snow, former editor of American Heritage and author of A Measureless Peril
  • A distinguished biographer's fresh take on the marriage of the Roosevelts, the most dynamic couple ever to occupy the White House . . . A focused account of a complex marriage that continues to fascinate. Kirkus Reviews
  • Franklin and Eleanor is a fascinating read, rich with insight and detail. Here is a political marriage that rose above politics; a partnership that was driven as much by idealism as by ambition; and a friendship that survived despite all. Hazel Rowley is a wonderful writer with a gift--rare among historians--for entertaining her readers. Amanda Foreman, Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire
  • Theirs was one of the great marriages in history, one that reshaped the lives of millions in their own time and beyond. In Hazel Rowley's engaging new book, Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt come alive anew in all their complexity, humanity, and greatness. Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship

  • “This fascinating study of the Roosevelt marriage provides an inside look at a complicated relationship…Rowley is excellent setting in motion the competitions, jealousies, and rivalries among those vying for the president's affection and attention. She accomplishes this while also charting the political progress of two heroic public servants, Franklin and Eleanor. Barbara Fisher, The Boston Globe

  • A crackling new biography. . .What distinguishes Rowley's chronicle is her focus on the evolution of the Roosevelt marriage from a standard-issue high-society alliance of its day to a ... what? We don't even have a term for such an unconventional relationship. . . A revelatory biography of a marriage. Maureen Corrigan, "Favorite Books of 2010," National Public Radio
  • Compelling history with first-rate character portraits of the Roosevelts and their closest friends. Terry Hartle, The Christian Science Monitor
  • [An] enticing new biography. [Rowley's] research, both meticulous and extensive, does not bloat the book into a doorstop. Franklin and Eleanor is less about history than about relationships, and it reads like a wonderful novel at times, giving us a vision of what parts of American life were like then. Carolyn See, The Washington Post
  • That Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt formed a splendid partnership is not news. But Hazel Rowley, author of acclaimed biogrpahies of Christina Stead, Richard Wright, and Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, dramatizes in intimate detail just how close the connection between husband and wife became...Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt, upper New York State aristocrats, became more attuned to the lives of the American people than any other presidential couple--not a claim Rowley makes, but one that becomes evident in reading her magnificent biography. Carl Rollyson, The Star Tribune
  • While numerous books have been written about the FDR presidency, this is a fresh look at what Rowley calls a 'bold and radical partnership'. . .She brings vividly to life one of the great marriages in history. Elizabeth Bennett, Bookish
  • Without resort to sensationalism, the author turns a familiar story into a page-turner. William D. Pederson, Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stevi Quate | 2/18/2014

    " What a fascinating glimpse into this famous couple! Not only does their marriage defy conventions, but their marriage blows up myths that I held about these two. I loved reading about their independence and yet reliance on each other -- and loved reading about the historical period of his presidency. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Ibert | 2/9/2014

    " Having little background knowledge on FDR and especially on Eleanor, I found this book very interesting. Decide for yourself if you think the marriage was indeed "extraordinary", but it certainly wasn't dull! I'm not a history buff and this book provided just the right mixture of history and personal anecdotes to keep me intrigued and glad I read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberly | 2/9/2014

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to anyone wishing to get a unique perspective on the Roosevelt marriage. Rowley does a wonderful job weaving the personal details of Franklin and Eleanor's relationship among the backdrop of extraordinary historical events. Their union was so successful, in part, to the fact that they were ahead of their time with regards to the defined roles of husband and wife. Both Roosevelts defied their social standing by fighting for the "average man," a belief grounded in the conviction that power and influence demand a sense of stewardship toward mankind. I only wish that our current political leaders would govern by such convictions! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane S. | 2/8/2014

    " What extraordinary people they were. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristi | 2/4/2014

    " loved it. interesting to read about their relationship from a non-judgmetnal perspective--its a dif view of their marriage than is usually portrayed. gutsy lady; i loved seeing the deep affection they had for each other all throughout their lives, which you can see from their letters to each other. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grace Harman | 2/1/2014

    " Love Hazel Rowley's bios. This one is fascinating, although seemed more sympathetic/focused on Eleanor than Franklin "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caren Nicholas | 1/19/2014

    " Focused on the marriage, history as a backdrop. Non traditional union in many ways. I found the book to be interesting. No villians here. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Cunningham | 1/1/2014

    " Really enjoyed this one! The pacing felt slightly off to me, in that the later chapters seemed short on detail compared to the earlier ones, but totally fascinating and very inspiring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin | 10/16/2013

    " I fell in love with Franklin & Eleanor. I could not put this book down and wasn't at all ready for it to end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Madelyn | 10/4/2013

    " Fascinating account of the famous Roosevelt's; their accomplishments, their partnership, their marriage. I recommend highly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle Proudman | 9/10/2013

    " And what an extraordinary marriage. Great book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angela | 8/24/2013

    " I loved reading about their relationship. They were both amazing people and very "modern". It was a good read. My bookclub had a "field trip" to Hyde Park after we read the book. It was wonderful to have all the background intrigue as we toured the home. Went to Valkill as well. Highly recommend! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne McDonald | 6/1/2013

    " Wonderful book that honestly explores the relationship between Eleanor and Franklin without the unnecessary details. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 12/19/2012

    " Insights into the power couple marriage of FDR and Eleanor...I found it fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nonny | 11/22/2012

    " You have to be interested in good dirt AND history to enjoy this book ~ which I did, thoroughly. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sally | 11/18/2011

    " I'm fascinated with both of them, individually and as a couple, so this was a no-brainer for me. I sailed through. In fact, it inspired a side trip to Hyde Park later in the month. Now that's what I call a good book . . . "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Monica Rich | 10/29/2011

    " Fascinating. I found myself completely sucked in, which isn't always the case with a biography. Completely recommend. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 10/9/2011

    " Before reading this book, I did not know much about the lives of either FDR or Eleanor. I enjoyed the book, but felt that the author glossed over some aspects of their lives. I am now interested in finding out more about them... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ritarose | 7/22/2011

    " really liked it - it's about the marriage, how they made it work given their personalities and the time they lived in, less about the politics. He is as fascinating a personality as is she. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nora | 4/26/2011

    " Insightful and intriguing... looks at the Roosevelt's marriage as a community rather than a duality. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 4/19/2011

    " A little slow at times, but overall a very enjoyable and interesting read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deanie | 4/7/2011

    " This book had a lot of material and I enjoyed it. I am intrigued by Franklin and Eleanor and have read many books about one or both of them. However, I was a little shocked and maybe a little disappointed by the many assumptions made by the author based on very superficial facts and innuendo. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nancy | 4/7/2011

    " Disappointing. Basically a rehash of other books on the subject, and no really new insights. Hazel Rowley passed away recently. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abby | 4/6/2011

    " This was an eye opener into a marriage unlike any other, that managed to survive both numerous affairs by both, politics, a crippling disease and war. A must read if you have any interest in American History, or even if you don't! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caren | 3/24/2011

    " Focused on the marriage, history as a backdrop. Non traditional union in many ways. I found the book to be interesting. No villians here. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Micki | 3/22/2011

    " Incredible read. I seem to like Eleanor's sassy, way past her time attitude. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allison | 3/21/2011

    " This broad overview of the lives of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt is a quick read. It focuses on their personal lives rather than the policies that they helped to shape. The lack of more substantial details made the book feel a little too gossipy to me - that is the only reason for three stars. "

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About the Narrator

Tavia Gilbert, an acclaimed narrator of more than four hundred full-cast and multivoice audiobooks for virtually every publisher in the industry, is an eight-time nominee for the Audie Award and the recipient of seventeen Earphones Awards, a Voice Arts Award, and a Listen-Up Award. With frequent inclusion on best of year and annual top ten lists, she is a trusted and increasingly sought-after actress for work across every genre, from children’s and YA, to literary fiction, nonfiction, and genre fiction. Audible has named her a Genre-Defining Narrator: Master of Memoir, and Library Journal said of her, “as close as you can get to a full-cast narration with a solo voice.” She is a producer, singer, photographer, and a writer, as well as the cofounder of a feminist publishing company, Animal Mineral, with fiction and nonfiction focusing on relationships, love, and identity.