Saturday, 24 December 2016

Eleanor Roosevelt

I was interested to hear that beginning in the 1930s, Eleanor Roosevelt (October 11, 1884–November 7, 1962) — First Lady, dedicated humanitarian, writer of controversial love letters, timeless philosopher — penned a series of books aimed at young readers, discussing various social and political issues, from voting to international relations. 

In 1940, in the midst of a grim holiday season marred by the realities of WWII and the Nazi occupation of Europe, she penned Christmas: A Story - the tale of a little Dutch girl named Martha, who struggles to find meaning, love, and peace in a world of destruction and uncertainty after her father, Jon, is killed in the war.
Copies can be found on Amazon from $90 to $1500

I have only glimpsed bits of it online because sadly it and her other children's books are out of print and have been for some time. The illustrations are precise, detailed and delicate and the cover art lovely. Although the 'Christ story' is embedded in the tale it is more of an allegory for the notion that we don’t need to seek permission to believe in goodness, even in the face of evil. A timely message given the rise of the right across the world this year and the legitimacy of violence, fear, the normalisation of misinformation and the rising belief that greed is not only good but desirable.
Maybe these books will find a new publisher ( I'm surprised the Roosevelt Presidential Library doesn't publish them) cor a new era in our post Trump world?

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