Eleanor Roosevelt comemora o Dia Mundial da Criança

Eleanor Roosevelt comemora o Dia Mundial da Criança

"Primeira-dama do mundo" Eleanor Roosevelt lê uma declaração sobre o bem-estar infantil em homenagem ao Dia Mundial da Criança, que foi celebrado pela primeira vez um ano antes, em 4 de outubro de 1953.


O Paradoxo de Eleanor Roosevelt: Criança do Alcoolismo

Em algum lugar entre as duas imagens extremas de Eleanor Roosevelt - a da primeira-dama intrometida e superficial e a do reformador humanitário e político consumado - está uma figura complexa cheia de contradições e paradoxos ”, observou Tamara Hareven na antologia que marcou o centenário de Eleanor & # 8217s nascimento em 1984. A coleção foi intitulada Sem Precedente, e o ensaio de Hareven & # 8217s sobre "ER e Reforma" deram início ao volume & # 8217s seção de conclusão sobre "Paradoxos". Autor de uma biografia admirável, Eleanor Roosevelt (1968), Hareven reconheceu em 1984 que Eleanor & # 8217s “onipresença e envolvimento em muitas causas diferentes, suas declarações paradoxais e seu apoio a causas aparentemente contraditórias confundiram seus contemporâneos e deixaram até mesmo seus apoiadores sentindo que suas atividades não tinham um padrão coerente”. Os editores de Sem Precedente explicou que uma reavaliação acadêmica era necessária porque as contradições na vida longa e agitada de Eleanor Roosevelt & # 8217 não eram explicadas pelos elementos de novela da litania padrão. De acordo com esse melodrama, Eleanor sobreviveu a uma infância órfã e sem amor, a um marido infiel e sogra dominadora, e emergiu como uma personalidade independente somente depois que seu marido foi derrubado pela poliomielite em 1921. Sua necessidade de servir enquanto Franklin & # Os olhos e ouvidos de 8217 transformaram a tímida Eleanor em uma líder pública autônoma. Foi um processo triunfante que floresceu completamente depois que ela ficou viúva em 1945 e que foi sustentado por aclamação mundial até sua morte em 1962.

Mas, por trás do cenário da novela, a carreira extraordinária de Eleanor & # 8217 foi marcada por uma série de paradoxos interligados que produziram um simbolismo contraditório. Ela era uma idealista cruzada, mas também uma pragmática política astuta, uma aristocrata com convicções esquerdistas, uma reformista liberal agressiva que simbolizava a mulher libertada, mas que se opunha à Emenda de Direitos Iguais. Ela era inerentemente tímida, mas constantemente pressionava a consciência pública com seus onipresentes discursos, coletivas de imprensa e publicações. Ela foi acusada por seus detratores conservadores de ser uma pessoa intrometida e benfeitora que amava o mundo inteiro, mas mesmo para seus entes queridos Eleanor parecia incapaz de expressar emoções espontaneamente. “Minha mãe sempre foi rígida, nunca relaxou o suficiente para brincar”, lembrou sua filha Anna. “Minha mãe amava toda a humanidade, mas ela não sabia como permitir que seus filhos a amassem.”

Os estudiosos de Roosevelt explicaram as origens e a persistência dessas tendências contraditórias basicamente de três maneiras. Uma explicação é principalmente política e geracional, e procura explicar por que Eleanor foi tão lenta em apoiar questões importantes da reforma feminina como sufrágio, paz, leis de trabalho infantil e a ERA. É responsável pela carreira extraordinária de Eleanor & # 8217 como uma ponte de transição, ligando as reformistas sociais de elite da era progressista às feministas igualitárias modernas por meio de atos de realização individual, enquanto o feminismo agressivo e coletivo, que ganhou o sufrágio, permaneceu adormecido por 40 anos . Uma criança vitoriana do final do século 19, Eleanor cresceu com seu partido agrário no amadurecimento da nação urbana do século 20, portanto, seus atrasos ideológicos foram apenas dores de crescimento, paralelamente à transição democrática dos direitos dos estados de Jeffersonian às reformas nacionalistas do New Deal . Sua oposição inabalável ao ERA embaraçou as feministas modernas, mas a legislação protetora que ele ameaçava representava, compreensivelmente, o triunfo liberal de sua geração.

Uma segunda explicação é estrutural. É responsável pelas diferentes funções sociais e graus de liberdade permitidos a uma mulher cujo lugar foi definido em geral pelos valores patriarcais herdados da América e, especificamente, por seu famoso tio e marido, de quem seu crescente status foi derivado. Nessa transição gradual, Eleanor se tornou primeiro a primeira-dama de Nova York, depois da Casa Branca e da nação, mais tarde das Nações Unidas e, por fim, do humanitarismo mundial em geral. O “ofício” da primeira-dama era em si um paradoxo, exigindo dos ocupantes sérios e decididos uma anágua fingindo o contrário. Com o poder vicário de FDR, Eleanor acabou encontrando na viuvez sua maior liberdade e realização. Ela não tinha a liberdade de uma Alice Paul, mas as muitas restrições de seu status atribuído eram contrabalançadas por sua visibilidade única como um púlpito agressivo.

Uma terceira explicação para as contradições de Eleanor & # 8217 foi necessariamente psicológica. No entanto, ao contrário da maioria dessas explicações, onde psico-historiadores e seus detratores entraram em confronto sobre quais impulsos mais profundos e (geralmente) mais sombrios impulsionaram Jefferson, Lincoln ou Wilson, a avaliação psicológica de Eleanor Roosevelt foi surpreendentemente consensual. Eleanor foi uma mulher primogênita seguida por filhos favoritos na sociedade dominada pelos homens da América vitoriana & # 8217s. Nela Autobiografia (1961), ela se lembrava de ser uma “criança tímida e solene, mesmo com a idade de dois anos, e tenho certeza que mesmo quando dançava nunca sorria”. Além disso, desde a mais tenra idade, ela sentiu uma rejeição emocional profunda porque estava “sem beleza. Eu parecia uma velhinha sem a alegria espontânea e a alegria da juventude. ” Sua mãe, Anna Hall Roosevelt, a quem Eleanor chamou de "uma das mulheres mais lindas que já vi", até chamou sua filhinha simples de "Vovó", e Eleanor "queria afundar no chão de vergonha". Joseph Alsop lembrou que uma vez, quando sua mãe estava tomando chá com Anna, que era sua prima, Anna se virou para a filhinha e comentou com naturalidade: “Eleanor, mal sei o que vai acontecer com você. Você é tão simples que realmente não tem nada para fazer, exceto seja bom. ” Do vínculo palpável de mãe régia e filhos preferidos, a pequena e feia Eleanor sentiu-se emocionalmente excluída por uma “barreira curiosa entre eu e esses três”. “Eu senti que estava separada dos meninos”, disse ela, e “algo me trancou”.

É claro que os estudos feministas modernos têm muito a dizer sobre a centralidade implícita da subordinação das mulheres nessas explicações políticas, sociais e psicológicas. Reavaliações feministas do papel de Eleanor & # 8217 tendem a enfatizar o papel libertador de sua extensa rede de amigas íntimas, em cuja nutrição feminista especial a independência ferida de Eleanor & # 8217 foi reforçada. Mas o consenso psicológico se baseia nos anos de formação de Eleanor, especialmente na influência incomum das mulheres que governavam a vida da criança. Os relatos autobiográficos de Eleanor e as reconstruções de seus biógrafos enfatizaram sua rejeição por uma série de mulheres excepcionalmente belas, frias e dominantes. Em nítido contraste, essas mesmas fontes celebravam o intenso vínculo de amor entre a pequena Eleanor e seu pai afetuoso e gentil, o único que parecia aumentar sua autoestima abatida.

A primeira entre as mulheres duras era Anna Roosevelt, a mãe crítica e exigente de Eleanor, que freqüentemente sofria de dores de cabeça e depressões, e que claramente parecia preferir a companhia de seus dois filhos. No FDR: Uma Lembrança do Centenário (1982), Joseph Alsop relembra Anna Roosevelt de forma nada lisonjeira como “uma mulher rigidamente convencional que de alguma forma combinava devoção religiosa e mundanismo intenso”, mas cuja característica mais ostensiva era sua beleza estonteante e sua vaidade que a acompanhava. O cunhado de Anna e # 8217, Theodore Roosevelt, desprezava sua frivolidade, que "havia consumido seu caráter como um câncer". Mas Anna morreu repentinamente de difteria quando Eleanor tinha apenas oito anos de idade, e Eleanor e seus irmãos bebês foram abruptamente enviados para sua "avó severa", Mary Livingston Ludlow Hall, que era "extremamente severa com a ninhada de sua filha & # 8217". Como a bela filha de um Livingston e a viúva de Valentine Hall, a avó “incompetente” de Eleanor & # 8217s “distraidamente” presidia uma família irresponsável na qual seus seis filhos incrivelmente bonitos eram mimados. Mas os pobres netos órfãos sentiram o impacto negativo de sua severa avó, que, de acordo com a mãe de Alsop & # 8217, possuía "o maior talento para tornar seu ambiente sombrio de todas as mulheres de Nova York". Na austera atmosfera vitoriana da sociedade de classe alta em Nova York e Oyster Bay, Eleanor foi "cercada por tias egoístas despreocupadas" e submetida à "supervisão severa" de "empregadas impacientes e governantas severas". Finalmente, houve o casamento de Eleanor, aos 19 anos, com seu primo distante Franklin, e com ele uma prolongada escravidão como nora da dominadora e desaprovadora Sara Delano Roosevelt. Sem autoconfiança e um toque materno natural, Eleanor cedeu o berçário de seus filhos para governantas inglesas. A mãe obstinada e elegante de Franklin & # 8217 na verdade expropriou os filhos de Eleanor & # 8217s, referindo-se a eles como "meus filhos" e explicando-lhes que "sua mãe só deu à luz você".

Solitária, insegura e rejeitada como uma patinha feia, a única fonte vital de garantia e afeto da pequena Eleanor & # 8217 era seu amado pai, Elliott: “Ele dominou minha vida enquanto viveu e foi o amor da minha vida para muitos anos depois que ele morreu. ” O irmão mais novo de Theodore, Elliott, era lembrado por Eleanor como “charmoso, bonito, amado por todos que entraram em contato com ele, alto ou baixo”. Considerando que sua mãe Anna amava a alta sociedade, Eleanor relembrou, seu pai “teve uma formação e educação que eram estranhas ao padrão de minha mãe & # 8217”. Ao contrário de Anna, que se preocupa com o status, Elliott possuía o toque comum. Ele parecia igualmente em casa com seus colegas jogadores de pólo e caçadores, as crianças aleijadas no Hospital Ortopédico, os meninos de rua na Casa de Hospedagem dos Newsboys. Ao contrário de Theodore, cuja combatividade podia ser tingida de bombástico e uma certa arrogância hipócrita, Elliott gerava um calor contagiante. Freqüentemente descrito como “adorável”, como seu pai, Robert Roosevelt, Elliott quando jovem era conhecido por sua generosidade e humor - e por seu glamour, entre as moças. Sua mãe e sua irmã o adoravam, e suas cartas refletem uma fonte de gentileza que sustentava o afeto pelo qual ele era tão amplamente abraçado. Elliott casou-se com Anna após um namoro breve e formal. Sua filha primogênita, Eleanor, tinha um vínculo profundo com seu pai, e ele chamava Eleanor de sua "pequena Nell gay". “Ele também deu a ela os ideais que ela tentou cumprir durante toda a vida”, acreditava seu biógrafo Joseph Lash, “apresentando-lhe a imagem do que ele queria que ela fosse - nobre, corajosa, estudiosa, religiosa, amorosa, e bom."

Assim, as memórias da infância de Eleanor e as reconstruções de biógrafos e historiadores retrataram um mundo infantil que era fisicamente e psicologicamente dominado por belas mulheres que eram severas, frias, austeras e até cruéis. Esse ambiente severo foi aliviado apenas pela adoração e adoração de Elliott, que era o amor da vida da jovem Eleanor & # 8217 - e assim permaneceu, singular e para sempre, após sua descoberta em 1918 do caso de seu marido Franklin & # 8217s com sua secretária social, Lucy Mercer. A infidelidade de Franklin & # 8217s é uma das duas únicas manchas principais centradas no homem em um registro da infância e da idade adulta jovem que, de outra forma, é dominada pela opressão matriarcal quase incessante. Mas o outro permaneceu em grande parte um fenômeno secreto, porque envolvia o alcoolismo indiscutível de seu amado e brilhante pai, Elliott.

Muito tem sido dito sobre o impacto esmagador do caso de amor auto-indulgente de Franklin & # 8217, de como ele confirmou o profundo senso de inadequação de Eleanor como esposa e mãe, e como ela subsequentemente sublimava suas necessidades emocionais ao buscar satisfação pessoal por meio do social e político ação na arena pública. Biógrafos recentes dos Roosevelts estão geralmente cientes do alcoolismo oculto de Elliott e # 8217. No Eleanor e Franklin (1971), por exemplo, Lash descreveu a autodestruição desastrosa de Elliott & # 8217 em detalhes breves, mas brutais. David McCulloch foi ainda mais explícito em Manhãs a cavalo (1981), e ambos Edmund Morris, em A ascensão de Theodore Roosevelt (1979) e Geoffrey Ward, em Antes da trombeta (1985), dedicou um capítulo inteiro a Elliott e sua trágica morte. Essas recentes reavaliações trataram a infância de Eleanor e # 8217, transformando-a em sensibilidade. Mas poucos biógrafos se sentiram impelidos ou talvez qualificados para tirar conclusões clínicas importantes do grave problema de bebida de Elliott. A literatura de Roosevelt normalmente traça uma suposição de senso comum de que o encontro de Eleanor com a fraqueza da sombra de seu pai a dotou de uma sensibilidade especial para a dor e o sofrimento. Dizia-se que essa experiência dolorosa, mas que edifica o caráter, fortaleceu sua resolução de exercer responsabilidade pessoal e evitar a trágica deterioração que ela testemunhou devido à fraqueza, autopiedade e autocomplacência. Alsop até especulou que “a beleza da mãe de Eleanor Roosevelt & # 8217s deve ter sido mais difícil para ela do que o alcoolismo de seu pai & # 8217s” e que o período opressivo sob sua avó Hall pode ter sido “muito pior”.

No entanto, considere as próprias lembranças maduras de Eleanor da extraordinária intensidade desse vínculo pai-filha. Ela não apenas apreciava cada momento de alegria com ele, mas também estava verdadeiramente "desesperada para agradá-lo". Ela se lembrava com dolorosa nitidez daqueles momentos em que sua falta de coragem física havia falhado e, portanto, o desapontou e até irritou, como uma vez em um passeio de burro e novamente em um acidente a bordo de um navio no mar - algo que um filho forte certamente nunca teria feito. Mesmo quando as bebedeiras de Elliott e # 8217 estavam causando uma grande ansiedade na família, como quando seu segundo filho (e terceiro filho), seu irmão Hall, nasceu e Elliott voltou de uma de suas reclusões periódicas em um sanatório, Eleanor lembrou que “ ele foi a única pessoa que não me tratou como um criminoso! ” Quando sua mãe morreu tão repentinamente em 1892, Eleanor lembrou com espantosa franqueza que “a morte não significava nada para mim, e um fato apagou todo o resto. Meu pai estava de volta e eu o veria em breve. ” Ela e Elliott formaram um “pacto secreto”, no qual pai e filha seriam deixados sozinhos para sempre “para viver em um mundo de sonho no qual eu era a heroína e meu pai o herói. . . . Retirei-me para este mundo. ”

A retirada foi exigida, porque Anna decretou, com a insistência de Theodore & # 8217s, que após sua morte, os filhos seriam criados por sua severa avó materna, a Sra. Valentine Hall, e Elliott seria exilado. Eleanor percebeu “que tragédia de derrota total isso significou para ele. . . . Ele não tinha esposa, nem filhos, nem esperança. ” Dois anos depois, o próprio Elliott estava morto, e a pequena Eleanor, de dez anos e órfã, parecia não ter esperanças também: “Atenção e admiração foram as coisas que eu desejei durante toda a minha infância, porque me fizeram sentir muito consciente do fato que nada sobre mim chamaria a atenção ou me traria admiração. ” Mas Eleanor admoestou sua mãe, mesmo em seu túmulo, por reagir ao fato de seu pai beber menos com amor do que com força elevada.

Mas como era realmente Elliott? Claramente, ele era, segundo todos os relatos contemporâneos, incomumente abençoado com riqueza e posição, cordialidade e charme, beleza arrojada e bonomia esportiva. Mas algo estava errado. Sintomas inexplicáveis ​​de comportamento problemático ocasionalmente surgiam desde tenra idade e, embora fossem rejeitados ou explicados de várias maneiras na juventude de Elliott & # 8217, especialmente por familiares e amigos devotados, sua clareza hoje deriva de uma retrospectiva moderna. Quando menino, Elliott foi dito que sofria de "ondas de sangue para a cabeça" periódicas. Quando jovem, caçando tigres na Índia, ele foi acometido por uma “febre” de origem exótica e traição recorrente. Esplêndido atleta, Elliott era curiosamente sujeito a acidentes, e suas quedas excessivas de um cavalo foram eventualmente atribuídas por familiares e amigos vagamente a "ataques semiepilépticos". A própria Eleanor compartilhava a crença de que algum tipo de tumor no cérebro pode ter ajudado a explicar a estranha fraqueza interior de seu pai. Seu comportamento cada vez mais perturbado incluía, além dos sintomas físicos, crises recorrentes de depressão e uma incapacidade generalizada de se manter firme em seus objetivos ou de cumprir seus planos. Elliott abandonou St. Paul & # 8217s, nunca frequentou a faculdade, não conseguia escrever seu livro prometido sobre a caça de grandes animais, não conseguiu sustentar seus empreendimentos comerciais.

Cada vez mais, à medida que Elliott persistia em sua vida celibatária animada, mas sem foco, até os primeiros vinte anos, sua bebida atraiu comentários perturbadores. Uma doença secreta, foi explicada como uma consequência aparente de sua epilepsia ou tumor ou o que quer que seja (Elliott foi dado a invocar "meu antigo problema indígena"). Em retrospecto, a severidade de sua aflição tornou-se mais clara para seus contemporâneos, especialmente em resposta ao constrangimento e vergonha que causou à pequena nobreza Roosevelt. Como Edith Carow Roosevelt lembrou mais tarde: “Ele bebia como um peixe e corria atrás das mulheres. Quero dizer senhoras que não estão em sua própria posição, o que era muito pior. " Em sua biografia da esposa de Theodore e # 8217s, Edith Kermit Roosevelt (1980), Sylvia Jakes Morris descreve como Theodore e Edith “temiam tê-lo para jantar e o viam o menos possível”. Eles deploravam os “círculos atrevidos de Long Island nos quais ele e sua esposa amante da sociedade se moviam” e desesperavam-se de que a “totalmente frívola” Anna algum dia agisse como uma influência estabilizadora.

Inicialmente, o casamento do livro de histórias de Elliott e # 8217 com a adorável Anna deu a promessa de libertação de prolongadas loucuras da juventude para uma nova e sóbria maturidade. Mas não era para acontecer, pois Elliott estava morrendo de uma doença fatal. Sem dúvida, nunca saberemos com certeza se havia alguma substância médica nas várias noções sobre epilepsia, tumor ou febre misteriosa, embora seja altamente improvável. Essas explicações mais socialmente aceitáveis ​​têm sido comumente invocadas, especialmente pela pequena nobreza, para evitar o temido estigma da embriaguez. Mas a doença essencial era clara: Elliott era um alcoólatra crônico. No início de seu casamento, ele renovou suas farras imprudentes com seus amigos de caça e pólo. Ele ficou cada vez mais nervoso e mal-humorado, descendo pela infância de Eleanor, em direção ao estágio agudo que terminaria desastrosamente, como era a natureza de sua doença devastadora e incurável, em desintegração mental e morte. Em 1888 ele caiu de um trapézio durante uma encenação amadora. Seu tornozelo quebrado foi diagnosticado erroneamente, exigindo que fosse quebrado novamente e restaurado, gerando uma agonia que acrescentou os narcóticos láudano e morfina comumente disponíveis ao seu vício em álcool. Ele se tornou cada vez mais hostil e deprimido, entregue a ataques de embriaguez, e em 1890 estava em um estado de colapso que incluía até ameaças de suicídio.

Na viagem desesperada da família para a Europa em 1890, Elliott começou com um juramento solene de abstinência. Mas logo ele sucumbiu a um comportamento excessivo violento. Isso levou a uma série de eventos bizarros, que Theodore chamou de seu "pesadelo de horror". Incluía o compromisso de Elliott & # 8217 com um sanatório em Viena, uma onda de fuga louca para Paris, onde Elliott enfrentou com uma amante americana o pânico da recém-grávida Anna, que correu para casa com os filhos para pedir o divórcio em razão de insanidade do Elliott violentamente bêbado & # 8217s internado em um "asilo" seguro em Paris e, para encerrar um drama mais adequado para a ficção popular, a ameaça de chantagem de um processo de paternidade por uma criada grávida em Nova York, Katy Mann. Para o enfurecido Theodore, o comportamento espetacularmente imoral de seu irmão constituiu uma "ofensa contra a ordem, a decência e a civilização" e uma profanação do "leito sagrado do casamento" por seu irmão "homem-porco flagrante", Elliott, que tinha assim perdeu todo o lugar da família.

Abandonado no asilo de Paris, o desintegrado Elliott alternava entre períodos de penitência carregada de culpa com promessas solenes de reforma a Anna e uma fúria violenta por ela o ter traído e “sequestrado”. Quando o processo de divórcio causou sensação na imprensa sobre a humilhação pública dos proeminentes Roosevelts, Theodore processou seu irmão por um Mandado de Loucura. Ele então levou Elliott para casa em Paris, um homem alquebrado, que em troca da anulação dos processos de divórcio e loucura, perdeu a maior parte de sua propriedade e direitos familiares, e concordou em se submeter ao “Dr. Keely & # 8217s Bi-Chloride of Gold Cure. ” Este foi um tratamento caro de cinco semanas oferecido em Dwight, Illinois, e com base na rejeição temporária e quimicamente induzida do corpo do álcool, seu efeito era semelhante ao do antabuso de drogas moderno, no qual a rejeição traumática passa rapidamente com a cessação de injeções. O devastado Elliott também aceitou o exílio para um esconderijo familiar perto de Abingdon, Virgínia. Alsop descreveu a propriedade montanhosa na fronteira entre a Virgínia e a Virgínia Ocidental como uma área de madeira “usada por muito tempo como um lugar para guardar os bêbados da família” - que eram “numerosos” entre o clã Roosevelt estendido.

Elliott lutou heroicamente durante sua primeira estada na Virgínia para viver uma vida respeitável e abstinente e ganhar o perdão de Anna. Como sempre, seus votos logo ruíram diante do poder de seu vício. Então, a morte súbita de Anna por difteria em 1892 foi seguida logo depois pela morte por escarlatina de seu filho primogênito, Ellie, e após esses terríveis golpes Elliott deslizou para o mundo interior protegido de um alcoólatra abandonado e abastado. Em cartas dedicadas a Eleanor, ele prometeu visitar “Pai & # 8217s Own Little Nell” com frequência. Mas ele fez isso de forma irregular, muitas vezes esquecendo suas promessas em apagões e uma vez abandonando-a por seis horas com o porteiro do Knickerbocker Club em Nova York enquanto ele ficava bêbado e desmaiava por dentro. Em 1894, ele morava na cidade de Nova York com um nome falso com uma amante - “como uma criatura abatida e caçada”, disse Theodore, que “não pode ser ajudada” e deveria ser deixada sozinha para beber até morrer. Quando Elliott morreu de delirium tremens e uma queda bêbada em agosto de 1894, a pequena Eleanor de coração partido nem mesmo foi levada ao seu funeral.

O que devemos fazer com a extraordinária dissonância entre este mergulho catastrófico de Elliott, o alcoólatra, e a visão cavalheiresca de Little Nell & # 8217 de seu adorado pai? Elliott Roosevelt era realmente uma figura patética que, apesar de sua riqueza e privilégios, sofria como milhões de seus companheiros alcoólatras de uma doença antiga que era publicamente considerada não como uma doença, mas como uma marca vergonhosa de degeneração moral. Ele viveu em um inferno não tão particular e morreu uma geração inteira antes que um programa não médico de recuperação fosse descoberto e pudesse deter essa doença incurável com sucesso. Desde a fundação de Alcoólicos Anônimos em 1935, que se baseava em princípios psicológicos e espirituais e não em conhecimento científico, outra geração de estudos e tratamentos produziu o início de uma compreensão científica moderna de que o alcoolismo no indivíduo dependente químico parece ter origens biológicas bem como predisposições psicológicas, incluindo prováveis ​​raízes genéticas. A American Medical Association nem mesmo reconheceu o alcoolismo como uma doença até 1955.

Na década de 1960, o tratamento clínico do alcoolismo produziu a consciência de que a família do alcoólatra desenvolve uma psicopatologia paralela própria, que era conhecida como co-alcoolismo ou co-dependência. A investigação inicial desse fenômeno se concentrou na esposa do alcoólatra. Mas na década de 1970, um novo corpo de literatura clínica começou a descrever padrões paralelos de colapso em toda a família do alcoólatra, com atenção especial aos filhos vulneráveis ​​de alcoólatras. Pesquisas clínicas recentes têm se concentrado nessas crianças, mesmo durante a idade adulta, quando a causa imediata de sua disfunção já foi removida há muito tempo. As implicações clínicas e sociais e o tratamento desse fenômeno são explorados em livros de base clínica como Janet G. Woititz, Casamento nas Rochas (1979), Toby R. Drews, Deixando-os sóbrios (1980), Sharon Wegscheider, Outra chance: esperança e saúde para o Família Alcoólica (1981) e Woititz, Filhos Adultos de Alcoólatras (1983).

Portanto, na última geração, o tratamento e as pesquisas sobre o alcoolismo como doença biofísica diminuíram muito o papel causal dos fatores psicológicos na criação da dependência química. Mas, ao mesmo tempo, essa experiência produziu uma compreensão clínica de que o alcoolismo é essencialmente um família doença em seu contexto social. Isso, por sua vez, aumentou o papel dos fatores psicológicos no condicionamento do comportamento co-dependente dos membros da família em geral e, em particular, revelou padrões imprevistos de pensamento e comportamento no filhos adultos de alcoólatras que muitas vezes persistem com tenacidade surpreendente e paralisante. No caso de Eleanor Roosevelt & # 8217s, Elliott foi o alcoólatra imediato (de alguma forma removidos foram os tios de Eleanor & # 8217s, Edward e Valentine Hall, cujo vício e comportamento eram semelhantes aos de Elliott & # 8217s, e de quem Alsop relata: "esses dois homens bonitos se tornaram bêbados em um jovem"). O declínio desastroso de Elliott e # 8217 se encaixa no padrão patológico clássico com fidelidade cruel. Mas e quanto ao impacto sobre o cônjuge e os filhos de Elliott & # 8217s - especificamente sobre Anna e Eleanor?

Nos últimos anos, o acúmulo de milhares de histórias de casos de famílias de alcoólatras em registros clínicos produziu uma taxonomia de papéis familiares ou modelos de ajuste distorcido que foram definidos pelo comportamento controlador do pai alcoólatra. Seu papel (no caso de Elliott & # 8217s, o pai & # 8217s - embora o alcoolismo pareça ser uma doença neutra em relação ao sexo) centra-se em negar seu alcoolismo, tanto para si mesmo quanto para os outros. Isso leva a um padrão familiar de esconder-se, mentir, beber pela manhã, desmaios e sintomas físicos de deterioração geral, que normalmente traçam um quadro de febre que mergulha patologicamente para baixo. Mas o conceito de alcoolismo como psicologicamente uma doença familiar significa que a vida de todos os membros da família é fundamentalmente distorcida pelo comportamento do pai dependente químico. A primeira vítima secundária é o cônjuge, que paradoxalmente funciona, na taxonomia dos papéis co-alcoólicos, como o Enabler.

O Enabler é o chefe do elenco de apoio, protegendo o cônjuge alcoólatra das consequências de seu comportamento irresponsável e anti-social. Seu papel (o papel de esposa de esposa predominou nos primeiros estudos de caso, mas o Enabler não é mais inerentemente feminino do que o alcoólatra é homem) é paradoxal porque sua proteção instintiva ajuda a prolongar a agonia da destruição mútua da família. Ela atropela seu esposo alcoólatra, esconde seus erros, álibis e mentiras para ele, até para si mesma. Como resultado, ela paga um preço enorme, sendo o menor, mas mais óbvio, o constrangimento e a vergonha de enfrentar a família, amigos, credores e a comunidade em geral. À medida que o alcoólatra alivia cada vez mais sua própria dor, projetando nela sua culpa e ódio de si mesmo, ela fica exausta e cheia de dúvidas. Para suportar esses ataques dolorosos vindos de dentro, ela faz exatamente o que seu esposo alcoólatra fez - ela desativa seus sentimentos. Isto é, ela os desliga, exceto pela raiva crescente e corrosiva, que ela alternadamente reprime e empurra de volta para ele.

Podemos reconhecer esses sintomas na miserável Anna Roosevelt, cujo extremo estresse a tornou irritante, severa, fria - Eleanor & # 8217s "mãe crítica e exigente, que muitas vezes estava sujeita a depressões e dores de cabeça". O estresse acelerado de viver com um cônjuge alcoólatra muitas vezes causa estragos na saúde do Enabler & # 8217s, deixando-a exausta e fisicamente vulnerável. Na descrição de Wegscheider & # 8217s desta perigosa mas familiar síndrome em Outra chance, o Enabler “experimenta uma ou várias das condições familiares relacionadas ao estresse - problemas digestivos, úlceras, colite e dores nas costas, pressão alta e possíveis episódios cardíacos, nervosismo, irritabilidade, depressão”. Em 1892, quando Anna tinha apenas 29 anos, suas dores de cabeça e nas costas eram tão fortes que Eleanor, de oito anos, dormia em seu quarto e passava horas acariciando a cabeça de sua mãe. No final do ano, a exausta Anna sucumbiu à difteria e morreu.

Dois anos após a morte prematura de Anna e # 8217, o pai alcoólatra e seu filho primogênito estavam mortos. O irmão mais novo de Eleanor, Ellie, morreu de escarlatina complicada por difteria, e seu irmão mais novo e sobrevivente, Hall, herdou os dons pessoais de seu pai e sua maldição também. Um rapaz encantador e promissor, Hall bebeu lentamente até a morte, sucumbindo finalmente a uma falha hepática em 1941. A própria Eleanor era tão próxima do pai que era especialmente vulnerável à dor da família, o que, de acordo com a literatura clínica, tendia a levar os filhos de alcoólatras a adotar um ou mais dos quatro papéis básicos em resposta à desagregação e angústia familiar. Todos os papéis atendem a uma necessidade imediata de ajuste a uma situação anormalmente estressante, mas todos, portanto, cobram um preço de longo prazo por distorcer a personalidade e o comportamento. Um papel comum é o mascote, que é movido pelo medo da rejeição a atuar como palhaço, ganhando atenção por oferecer diversão, mas pagando o preço da maturidade presa. A segunda é a do Bode expiatório, a criança selvagem que reage à dor e à culpa com comportamento delinquente, ganhando assim atenção negativa, mas ao preço do comportamento autodestrutivo. Mas ambos os papéis eram estranhos à natureza interior da pequena e tranquila Eleanor, que buscava tanto ser uma boa menina. Em vez disso, Eleanor parecia ter seguido dois outros papéis comuns, embora aparentemente contraditórios.

A primeira foi a da Criança Perdida, fugindo para a solidão, solitária e tímida. Eleanor fez seu segredo, um pacto sagrado com seu pai, e se retirou para aquele mundo de sonho. But the other and later role, which marked her transition to womanhood, and flowered slowly as she overcame her awkward shyness, was that of Hero. In the clinical literature, the Hero is driven by feelings of guilt to become a compulsive overachiever. Such achievements would provide Eleanor with the attention and admiration that she felt she had lacked all through her childhood. But the Hero, like the other distorted role-playing models, pays a high inner price. The ultimate goal of her achievements is not to satisfy her own needs, but rather to make up for the massive deficit of self-worth that the alcoholic so dear to her and the alcoholic family around her has created. In this view, and especially in light of the profound bond between father and daughter, Eleanor’s primal deficit drove her to an extraordinary life of compulsive overachievement that could never succeed in paying off the debt and assuaging the guilt, and thereby allow her to acknowledge her own terribly damaged self-esteem, or her own deeply buried anger at her father for betraying her love and abandoning her.

Joseph Lash, who was Eleanor’s close friend as well as biographer, sensed the punishing measure of unrealistic expectations and inevitable frustrations that were fused into Eleanor’s heroic role-playing. Because she so idolized her father,

she would strive to be the noble, studious, brave, loyal girl he had wanted her to be. He had chosen her in a secret compact, and this sense of being chosen never left her. When he died she took upon herself the burden of his vindication. By her life she would justify her father’s faith in her, and by demonstrating strength of will and steadiness of purpose confute her mother’s charges of unworthiness against both of them.

to overestimate and misjudge people, especially those who seemed to need her and who satisfied her need for self-sacrifice and affection and gave her the admiration and loyalty she craved. Just as her response to being disappointed by her father had been silence and depression because she did not dare see him as he really was, so in later life she would become closed, withdrawn, and moody when people she cared about disappointed her.

Throughout her adult life Eleanor understandably demonstrated a powerful aversion to alcohol itself, the savage agent of so much of her heartbreak and misery. “Eleanor had not a single close male relation of her own generation or the preceding one,” Alsop asserts, “who did not end as a drunkard, with the sole exception of her President-uncle and her President-to-be-husband. No wonder she loathed the sight of any form of drink as long as she lived.” But at a deeper level, she also demonstrated to a high degree throughout her career so many of those traits and attributes that are clinically associated with the adult children of alcoholics. The inventory of symptoms includes difficulty with intimate relationships, tendencies toward both impulsiveness and being super responsible (or super irresponsible), extreme loyalty even in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved, and a constant quest for approval and affirmation.

But cautions are in order. The chief caveat is against a crude reductionism that would appear to explain away Eleanor Roosevelt’s entire rich career, as if it were merely derivative of a darker, monocausal force, an acting out of a path foredoomed by her father. Eleanor Roosevelt was a strong woman of firm Victorian moral beliefs, who continued to grow throughout her amazing fourscore years. Unlike many children of alcoholics, Eleanor was not so crippled that her talents were buried and her life severely disrupted. Unlike many adult children of alcoholics, she did not tend to lie, or to have difficulty following a project through from beginning to end. Unlike many Heroic role-players, she did not burn out her health—indeed, she had a constitution of iron.

Eleanor’s compulsion to pursue her causes prompted Franklin Roosevelt’s immortal prayer: “O Lord, Make Eleanor tired.” But Eleanor would not, could not tire. Toward the later war years Franklin sought refuge from the relentless single-mindedness with which she pursued her causes. He sought instead the company of his daughter Anna and Lucy Mercer Rutherford, who provided him with what his son Elliott called “a woman’s warm, enspiriting companionship, which my mother by her very nature could not provide.” Eleanor’s inability to find emotional fulfillment in her marriage reinforced her long quest for special personal relationships with a series of quite different men (Louis Howe, John Boettinger, Earl Miller), but especially with women. The latter frequently came in pairs of “Boston marriages” (Esther Lape and Elizabeth Read, Nancy Cook and Marion Dickerman), but also singly, as with the extraordinary Marie Souvestre, the headmistress of Allenswood finishing school near London, and later with Rose Schneiderman, Molly Dewson, Lorena Hickok.

In 1980 Doris Faber published her controversial biography, The Life of Lorena Hickok: E.R.’s Friend, which explored the possible lesbian relationship between Hickok and Eleanor, and prompted Joseph Lash’s spirited denial in Love, Eleanor: Eleanor Roosevelt and Her Friends (1982). Hickok’s lesbianism seems clear enough. But the lesbian claims on Eleanor, beyond fond Platonic ties, are implausible. Historian William Chafe has concluded that “the preponderance of evidence suggests that Eleanor Roosevelt was unable to express her deep emotional needs in a sexual manner.” Such intimacy seemed beyond her inner reach, whoever the presumed partner. Eleanor eventually pulled back from the overpossessive Hickok, as she seems to have ultimately withheld herself in all of her close personal relationships. “I know you often have a feeling for me which for one reason or another I may not return in kind,” she wrote Hickok. “I am pulling back in all my contacts now. I have always done it with the children, and why I didn’t know I couldn’t give you (or anyone else who wanted or needed what you did) any real food, I can’t now understand.” Eleanor simply could not let herself go emotionally, whether with Hickok or Franklin or Earl Miller or even with her own children.

But what she could do, with an iron discipline and determined self-control, was to seek vicarious fulfillment through her public causes. During her early widowhood, her normal work routine consisted of approximately a half dozen full-time jobs hopelessly interrupted by constant travel. This included the UN Human Rights Commission, a tight schedule of lecture tours, a regular radio commentary with her daughter Anna and a television show under her son Elliott’s management, a daily column published in 75—90 newspapers, a monthly question-and-answer page in the Ladies Home Journal e depois McCall’s, writing the second of três autobiographies, and attending to board meetings and assorted support and fund-raising appeals for the American Association for the United Nations, Brandeis University, Americans for Democratic Action, the United Jewish Appeal, the NAACP, the Citizens Committee for Children, and on and on. Eleanor’s children frequently upbraided their mother for her insistence that no meeting was too small and no worthy cause too obscure to merit her attention. She replied to their resentment with the lame if not fantastic explanation that she had to accept such invitations because “I need the publicity,” or “Because nobody else will go. It’s important they should know someone cares.” Lash found Eleanor fallen into her mood of deepest depression over her children’s frequent quarrels and divorces. Yet she never changed a life style that constantly took her away from them and led her to respond to countless invitations from groups weighty or marginal in an unending search to bolster a self-esteem that was so terribly damaged in childhood.

Eleanor’s hectic schedule and reputation for availability not surprisingly generated a deluge of correspondence, and it was her unbreakable rule not only that engagements must be kept, but also that letters must be answered—the latter often averaging from 50 to 100 a night. Small wonder that her avalanche of speeches and writings said little that was novel or original or of lasting value. For all her empathic instincts, Eleanor lacked a mind of exceptional or creative ability, and her grueling regimen guaranteed that her speeches and writings would rarely soar above the commonplace. Small wonder, also, that her critics, who often mainly despised her left-wing causes, accused her of cheapening the office of First Lady by constantly galavanting about the globe while her children were improperly raised, by writing articles for pay, making broadcasts, even appearing in paid commercials. “The First Lady presented an image,” Hareven conceded, “not of serene domesticity but of hectic travel, disorganized activities, and busybody occupations.”

In light of all the blows and disappointments that she suffered throughout her life, and also in light of her rather normal intellectual gifts, Eleanor Roosevelt’s achievements remained astonishing. While the devastating impact of her father’s alcoholism appears to have exacted a high and unfair price in damaging her self-worth and blocking her emotional release and private fulfillment, it seems also to have fueled a rare lifetime of top-speed striving for purposes that were both worthy of the effort and much in need of champions with prestige, energy, and a stout heart. Chief among Eleanor’s prescient understandings were her conviction that women were to be taken seriously and must play a serious role in public affairs, that America’s treatment of its black citizens was a moral abomination, and that guardianship of human rights was a global responsibility that transcended traditional nationalisms. That her astounding drive in this higher calling was heavily derived from the childhood pain of an alcoholic family is also testimony to her strength and capacity for growth and should not detract from the power of her symbolism to those whose causes she championed.

Painfully shy but publicly loquacious, loving mankind but with bottled-up emotions, moved by compassion yet impelled by an innocent childhood’s inheritance of guilt, this paradoxical woman drove through life in an endless quest. In the process she surmounted a tragic and crippling legacy with becoming strength for an enriching 78 years. Peace, to her restive spirit.


Eleanor Roosevelt Commemorates World Children's Day - HISTORY


Eleanor Roosevelt and Fala
by Unknown
  • Ocupação: First Lady
  • Nascer: October 11, 1884 in New York City, New York
  • Faleceu: November 7, 1962 in New York City, New York
  • Best known for: Being an active first lady who worked for human rights.

Where did Eleanor Roosevelt grow up?

Eleanor Roosevelt was born in New York City on October 11, 1884. Although she grew up in a fairly wealthy family, she had a tough childhood. Her mother died when she was eight and her father when she was only ten.

While her parents were alive, her mother treated her poorly, calling her "Granny" because she thought Eleanor was so serious and old-fashioned looking. Eleanor had few friends her age and was a quiet and frightened child. Her father was more encouraging, but wasn't around much. He would send her letters that she kept for the rest of her life.

When Eleanor turned fifteen her grandmother sent her boarding school near London, England. At first Eleanor was scared, however the headmistress took a special interest in her. By the time she graduated, Eleanor had gained confidence in herself. She had learned a lot about herself and life. She returned home a new person.

Upon her return to the United States, Eleanor began to date her distant cousin Franklin Roosevelt. He was a handsome young man attending Harvard University. They spent a lot of time together and Franklin fell in love with Eleanor. They were married on March 17, 1905. Eleanor's Uncle Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States, gave away the bride in the wedding.

Once married, the couple began to have children. They had six children including Anna, James, Franklin (who died young), Elliott, Franklin Jr., and John. Eleanor kept busy running the household and taking care of the children.

Franklin had become a famous politician. His goal was to become president. However, Franklin became very sick one summer with a disease called polio. He nearly died. Although Franklin lived, he would never walk again.

Despite his illness, Franklin decided to stay in politics. Eleanor was determined to help him in any way she could. She became involved in a number of organizations. She wanted to help poor people, black people, children, and women have better lives.

A New Kind of First Lady

Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated as President of the United States on March 4, 1933. Eleanor was now the First Lady. The job of the First Lady had always been to host parties and entertain foreign dignitaries and political leaders. Eleanor decided she could do more than this.

At the start of Franklin's presidency, America was in the middle of the Great Depression. People around the country were struggling to find jobs and even to have enough to eat. Franklin created the New Deal to try and help poor people recover. Eleanor decided to travel around the country to see how people were doing. She traveled thousands and thousands of miles. She let her husband know where people needed help and where his programs were and weren't working.

When Japan attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor, Franklin had no choice but to declare war and enter World War II. Eleanor didn't stand still or stay at home in safety. She went to work for the Red Cross. She traveled to Europe and the South Pacific to visit the sick and the wounded and to let the troops know how much they were appreciated.


First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt Flying
from the National Park Service

On April 12, 1945 Franklin died of a stroke. Eleanor was sad, but she wanted to continue their work. For seven years she represented the United States at the United Nations (UN), which was created in large part by her husband. While a member, she helped to write the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which described that people throughout the world should be treated fairly and had certain rights that no government should be able to take away.

Eleanor also wrote a number of books including This is My Story, Lembro disso, On My Own, and an autobiography. She continued to fight for equal rights for black people and women. She served as chair for the Commission on the Status of Women for President Kennedy.

Eleanor died on November 7, 1962. She was buried next to her husband Franklin. After her death Time Magazine called her the "world's most admired and talked about woman".


The Children of FDR

Franklin Delano Roosevelt had six children with his wife, Eleanor, although the first FDR Jr., born in 1909, also died that year. A second FDR Jr. would eventually be christened in 1914. Thus five of his children survived into adulthood, all of whom lived to advanced ages during a tumultuous century.

His firstborn, a daughter named Anna, emerged into the world only 14 months after her parents' marriage. During two marriages, first to a stockbroker and then to a newspaper editor, she was active in both writing and editing. As Eleanor Roosevelt began to take a more active interest in social causes, FDR invited Anna to move into the White House and serve as the official hostess. Thus Anna was preset at the Yalta Conference and for many of the major political functions during WWII. Eventually she and her third husband became active in labor relations, the Kennedy Administration, and various other political and public relations enterprises. She died in 1975 of throat cancer at the age of 69.

FDR welcomed his first son into the world a year after Anna. After attending Harvard and the Boston School of Law, James Roosevelt campaigned for his father's 1932 election. His business in insurance became so successful that he dropped out of law school and began working full-time for his father's administration in 1937, first as Presidential Secretary. He became a commissioned Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps, serving first as an attache to British forces before requesting an active duty post. He served with the controversially forward-thinking Marine Raiders and earned the Silver Star, eventually retiring as a Brigadier General in 1959. He also went to Hollywood, then served as a US Representative from California between 1955-65, during which time he actively spoke against Joseph McCarthy. He eventually published several memoirs, married four times, and fathered seven children. He died at age 83 in 1991 of Parkinson's, the last of FDR's children.

Elliott Roosevelt was born in 1910, eventually following in his older brother's footsteps by becoming an active member of the Armed Forces during WWII. He enlisted in the US Army Air Corps, the forerunner to the Air Force, and served as a pilot and commander. After flying over 300 combat missions, he retired a brigadier general upon the war's conclusion. He never achieved the same level of success in civilian life. He raised horses in Portugal, worked on a ranch in Texas, and lived on the property Eleanor bought on his behalf. He died in 1990 at age 80, after having been married five times. He fathered five children and adopted four.

FDR's third surviving son, name FDR Jr., contracted a serious strep infection in 1936 that was successfully treated with new sulfonamide antibiotics. Because of his father's fame, FDR Jr.'s recovery and the press that followed ushered in a new era of antibiotic acceptance among the US public, which greatly aided in wartime medicine. He eventually married five times and fathered five children, with his primary life's work revolving around politics and the law. He also imported cattle and Fiats, until his death in 1988 of throat cancer on his 74th birthday.

The last child born to FDR and Eleanor was John Aspinwall Roosevelt. He served in the US Navy as a lieutenant and received the Bronze Star. After marrying a woman whose father was staunchly Republican, John "defected" to the Republican Party, which caused considerable friction in his solidly Democratic family. That tension only increased as he actively campaigned for the likes of Eisenhower and Nixon. Despite his active interest in politics, he was the only of his brothers who never campaigned for public office. He retired as vice president of an investment firm in 1980, before heading up various charity organizations. He married only twice and fathered four children before his death in 1981 at age 65.

What I find most fascinating about the Roosevelt children is the participation in armed service. Can you imagine the children of any modern-era president serving on the front lines of a major conflict, or even being allowed to do so? Amazing, really!

SONG OF SEDUCTION's sequel from Carina Press, PORTRAIT OF SEDUCTION, is now available! Later this year watch for Carrie's new Victorian series from Pocket, as well as her "Dark Age Dawning" romance trilogy from Berkley, co-written with Ann Aguirre under the name Ellen Connor. "Historical romance needs more risk-takers like Lofty."


Civil Rights

In 1945, she had joined the NAACP, increasing her involvement in the civil rights movement. Eleanor hated violence and especially detested lynching. She worked with Thurgood Marshall and helped with housing and community planning for African Americans. “Black Americans appreciated Eleanor Roosevelt’s unflinching connection of housing rights to civil rights” (Black 104). She also supported the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and fought against the discrimination and segregation of public schools. When she visited the segregated First Methodist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, she refused to sit on either the white or black side and had her chair placed in the center aisle between two sides. Throughout the 1950s, Eleanor Roosevelt was interviewed frequently on radio and television, and she used such programs to promote different causes. Eleanor continued to work for the Democratic Party, and emphasized that civil rights and civil liberties were the most important aspects of democracy. As she became older, she became even more liberal in her outlook. Some of her critics even accused her of being responsible for black riots.

Eleanor and JFKThe FBI had a file on her of over 4,000 pages which contained her letters and her work, including her controversial opinions against racism and lynching. During the “Red Scare” about Communism in America throughout the 1950’s, Eleanor was caught in the middle. She defended the students accused of being Communists because she saw them as idealists, and she stressed their right to freedom of speech. Although she was anti-Communist, she strongly disagreed with Senator Joseph McCarthy’s tactics of accusing people, especially students, of being un-American if they supported liberal causes. To win the 1960 Democratic nomination, Senator John F. Kennedy knew that he needed to gain Eleanor’s support. The Democratic Party was split on the issue of civil rights. Eleanor wanted Adlai Stevenson to win the Democratic nomination that year, but Kennedy was nominated instead. Kennedy had to go to Val-Kill to gain Eleanor’s support, because he wanted to win the votes of African Americans. After he was elected President, Eleanor was disappointed that Kennedy’s administration was not initially supportive of civil rights in general and the Freedom Riders in particular – causes which were very important to her. She was, on the other hand, delighted with the creation of the Peace Corps under Kennedy’s influence and became an enthusiastic supporter of the agency. President Kennedy appointed her to the Peace Corps Advisory Board and to the chairmanship of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women.

Throughout her life, Eleanor fought for issues that she felt were necessary to address, like racial equality and worldwide Eleanorhuman rights. She served on the Board of the NAACP and “labeled racial prejudice undemocratic and immoral” (Black, 37). After World War II, Eleanor focused on racial discrimination, not just in the U.S., but internationally as well. By fighting for worldwide human rights, Eleanor became known as the “First Lady of the World.” She continued “discussing their problems in her speeches, columns, and articles,” and fought for human rights both nationally and abroad (Black 94). Ever since she was young, she had believed that everyone has the right to speak his or her mind, and in her last book, Tomorrow is Now, she stressed the necessity of individual action. By emphasizing the fact that one should not do just what everyone else is doing, she wrote, “we have to learn to think freshly about our new revolutionary world, to free our intelligence from the shackles of fear, and set it to work on the most challenging problem we have ever faced: the preservation of civilization” (Roosevelt, Tomorrow is Now, 26). Along with emphasizing the ideas that the state is supposed to serve the people and the citizens are supposed to be informed, she expressed the importance of having respect for other nations and other people.

She remained intensely involved with the United Nations because she saw the organization as a “reflection of the whole world,” which was very important to her (Roosevelt, Tomorrow is Now, 113). Eleanor Roosevelt died on November 7, 1962 at the age of 78. When remembering their mother, her children stated, “we were the most important thing in her life in our opinion-- and that’s the way she made everybody throughout the world feel” (Flemion and O’Connor, 44).


Eleanor Roosevelt Commemorates World Children's Day - HISTORY

As the chair of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Eleanor Roosevelt was the driving force in creating the 1948 charter of liberties which will always be her legacy: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Born in New York City, Eleanor married rising politician Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1905 and became fully immersed in public service. By the time they arrived in the White House in 1933 as President and First Lady, she was already deeply involved in human rights and social justice issues. Continuing her work on behalf of all people, she advocated equal rights for women, African-Americans and Depression-era workers, bringing inspiration and attention to their causes. Courageously outspoken, she publicly supported Marian Anderson when in 1939 the black singer was denied the use of Washington’s Constitution Hall because of her race. Roosevelt saw to it that Anderson performed instead on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, creating an enduring and inspiring image of personal courage and human rights.

In 1946, Roosevelt was appointed as a delegate to the United Nations by President Harry Truman, who had succeeded to the White House after the death of Franklin Roosevelt in 1945. As head of the Human Rights Commission, she was instrumental in formulating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which she submitted to the United Nations General Assembly with these words:

“We stand today at the threshold of a great event both in the life of the United Nations and in the life of mankind. This declaration may well become the international Magna Carta for all men everywhere.”

Called “First Lady of the World” by President Truman for her lifelong humanitarian achievements, Roosevelt worked to the end of her life to gain acceptance and implementation of the rights set forth in the Declaration. The legacy of her words and her work appears in the constitutions of scores of nations and in an evolving body of international law that now protects the rights of men and women across the world.

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right—for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.” —Eleanor Roosevelt


This Week in Roosevelt History: March 15-21

March 15, 2010 in This Week in Roosevelt History | Tags: ER, FDR | by fdrlibrary | Comments closed

March 17, 1905: FDR and ER are married in New York City by President Theodore Roosevelt.

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt at “Algonac” in Newburgh, NY.
May 7, 1905
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx 63-536.

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt pictured shortly after their marriage in March 1905.
March 1905
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx 62-41.


The First Lady

Upon moving to the White House in 1933, Eleanor Roosevelt informed the nation that they should not expect their new first lady to be a symbol of elegance, but rather "plain, ordinary Mrs. Roosevelt." Despite this disclaimer, she showed herself to be an extraordinary First Lady.

In 1933, Mrs. Roosevelt became the first, First Lady to hold her own press conference. In an attempt to afford equal time to women--who were traditionally barred from presidential press conferences--she allowed only female reporters to attend. In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused to allow Marion Anderson, an African American singer, to perform in their auditorium. In protest, Mrs. Roosevelt resigned her membership in the DAR.

Throughout Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency, Eleanor traveled extensively around the nation, visiting relief projects, surveying working and living conditions, and then reporting her observations to the President. She was called "the President's eyes, ears and legs" and provided objective information to her husband. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States entered WWII, Mrs. Roosevelt made certain that the President did not abandon the goals he had put forth in the New Deal. She also exercised her own political and social influence

She became an advocate of the rights and needs of the poor, of minorities, and of the disadvantaged. The public was drawn in by the First Lady's exploits and adventures which she recounted in her daily syndicated column, "My Day". She began writing the column in 1935 and continued until her death in 1962.

During the war, she served as Assistant Director of Civilian Defense from 1941 to 1942 and she visited England and the South Pacific to foster good will among the Allies and to boost the morale of U.S. servicemen overseas.


Web Content Display Web Content Display

When was Eleanor Roosevelt born?
Eleanor Roosevelt was born October 11, 1884 in New York City.

Who were Eleanor's parents?
Eleanor's parents were Elliott and Anna Hall Roosevelt. Elliott was the younger brother of Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, the twenty-sixth President of the United States. Anna Hall was descended from the Livingston family. The Livingstons, an old Hudson River family, played an important role in the formation of the new republic: one Livingston administered the oath of office to George Washington, another signed the Declaration of Independence, still another became a Supreme Court justice.

Was Eleanor an only child?
No. Eleanor had two brothers Elliott Roosevelt (1889-1893) and Gracie Hall Roosevelt (1891-1941), who was known as Hall. A few months after their mother's death in 1892 both boys contracted scarlet fever. Hall recovered, but Elliott did not.

When did Eleanor's parents die?
Eleanor's mother died of diphtheria following an operation on December 7, 1892, when Eleanor was eight years old. Her father died on August 14, 1894, less than two years later when Eleanor was not quite ten years old.

Where did Eleanor go to school?
After her mother's death, Eleanor went to live with her grandmother, Mrs. Valentine G. Hall, in Tivoli, New York. She was educated by private tutors until the age of 15, when she traveled to England to attend Allenswood, a preparatory school for girls run by a progressive headmistress, Marie Souvestre. Eleanor was very studious but also very popular at Allenswood and many believe that she gained much self-confidence during her time there. She later wrote that Marie Souvestre was an important role model and perhaps one of the most influential people in Eleanor's life.

What sport did Eleanor participate in at Allenswood?
Eleanor played varsity field hockey.

Did Eleanor go to college?
No, but Allenswood provided a serious collegiate environment with high scholastic standards.

What did Eleanor do after her coming out party?
After her debut into New York society, Eleanor found herself caught in a whirl of debutante parties, an ordeal she later termed "utter agony." The following year Eleanor turned to other acceptable activities for young socialites, joining the Junior League and teaching calisthenics and dancing to the children at the Rivington Street Settlement House in New York City's Lower East Side. She also became a member of the Consumers League, participating in the investigation of sweatshops in the city.

Could Eleanor dance?
Eleanor was an excellent dancer. The Eleanor Roosevelt Reel was named in her honor.

What people influenced Eleanor's life?
In a 1951 Look Magazine article, Eleanor Roosevelt listed seven people who, in her estimation, shaped her life. The first two were her father and mother: her father provided her love and reassurance, and her mother gave her the unattainable goal of perfection. Madame Marie Souvestre, headmistress and a teacher at Allenswood School, gave her a sense of confidence, and her Aunt Pussie (Mrs. W. Forbes Morgan) taught her discipline.

But, she said, it was the personalities of her husband and her mother-in-law that exerted the greatest influence on her development. It was their influence that made her "develop willy-nilly into an individual." Lastly, Louis Howe, her husband's political advisor, pushed her into taking an interest in politics.

Did Eleanor want FDR to be President?
In her autobiography This I Remember, Eleanor wrote: "From a personal standpoint, I did not want my husband to be president. I realized, however, that it was impossible to keep a man out of public service when that was what he wanted and was undoubtedly well equipped for. It was pure selfishness on my part, and I never mentioned my feelings on the subject to him."

Did Eleanor ever run for President?
No. President Truman indicated that she would be acceptable to him as a vice-presidential candidate, but Eleanor made it clear that she did not wish to seek elective office.

What was the relationship between Sara Delano Roosevelt, FDR's mother, and Eleanor?
The relationship between Eleanor and her mother-in-law was a complex, changing one. At the time of her engagement, Eleanor was a shy, insecure girl looking for love and acceptance. Sara Roosevelt dominated her and Franklin's world and when Eleanor entered it, she dominated her as well. It was her husband's illness, Eleanor said, that made her stand on her own two feet in regard to her husband's life, her own life and the rearing of her children. Her mother-in-law was "a very vital person [whose] strongest trait was loyalty to her family," Eleanor wrote in her My Day column on Sara's death.

What role did Eleanor play in FDR's presidency?
According to The Eleanor Roosevelt Encyclopedia, Eleanor "exerted considerable influence on the New Deal. As First Lady, she served as both an advocate for, and a critic of, FDR's developing reform program. While she neither drafted legislation nor held elective office, she worked with other reformers outside and inside the administration to shape the contours of the New Deal."

Who was Lorena Hickok?
Lorena Hickok was a top newspaperwoman who was assigned to cover Eleanor Roosevelt for the Associated Press (AP) during FDR's first campaign in 1932. She developed a deep attachment to Eleanor which compromised her objectivity and she resigned from the AP. It was "Hick" who suggested that the First Lady hold White House press conferences for women reporters only. She then went to work as the chief investigator of relief programs for Harry Hopkins, head of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. Her major duty was to travel around the country and report on the effectiveness of local relief administrations. She died in Hyde Park, New York in 1968.

What is "My Day"?
"My Day" was a syndicated column that Eleanor wrote six days a week from December 1935 until her death in 1962. The column was her public diary. She used it as a pedagogical device, a political tool, and a medium for communicating the liberal ethic to her readers.

Following is an excerpt from her column:

NEW YORK, OCTOBER 21, 1960 - As we watch the Presidential campaign unroll, I wonder how many have noticed one rather interesting change in the modern type of campaign. This was brought to my attention the other day when a young newspaper reporter said to me: "Do you really think that the decision as to a man's fitness for the office of President should depend, in part at least, on what kind of a President's wife his wife will be?"

I looked at her in surprise for a moment, because it had not dawned on me what changes had come about since Mr. Eisenhower's first campaign.

Apparently we have started on a new trend. I can't remember in my husband's campaign, nor in Mr. Truman's, that such a question could be asked. Some of the children or I would accompany my husband on the various campaign trips, and if we were around at railroad stops he would introduce us to the crowd in a rather casual manner. He often said "My little boy, Jimmy," when Jimmy was as tall as he was!

My husband insisted always that a man stood on his own record. He did not bring his family in to be responsible in getting him votes or in taking the blame for his decisions. I think he sometimes found it amusing to let me do things just so as to find out what the reaction of the public would be. But nothing we did was ever calculated and thought out as part of the campaign in the way we feel that Mr. Nixon plans every appearance with his wife.

There must be times when the whole situation becomes practically unbearable, I would think, for the woman of the family. And I hope that we will return to the old and rather pleasant way of looking upon White House families as people who have a right to their own lives.

The wives, of course, have certain official obligations, but they are certainly not responsible for their husband's policies. And they do not have to feel that sense of obligation at every point to uphold the ideas of the man of the family.

With so many people around a President who say "yes" to everything he says, it is fun sometimes for the family around him to say "no" just for the sake of devilment--but that should be a private family relaxation.

What did Eleanor do after FDR's death?
After Mrs. Roosevelt left the White House in 1945, her life was busier than ever. She continued to be an influential figure in the Democratic Party. President Truman appointed her a member of the first U.S. delegation to the United Nations in 1945 and she served as chairman of the Human Rights commission.

She gave public lectures and speeches, supported organized labor, and worked on behalf of a variety of causes, such as child welfare, displaced persons, minority rights, and women's rights. She continued to write books and her syndicated My Day column.

When did Eleanor Roosevelt die?
Eleanor died on November 7, 1962, in New York City from aplastic anemia, tuberculosis, and heart failure. She was 78 years old.


Eleanor Roosevelt

A shy, awkward child, starved for recognition and love, Eleanor Roosevelt grew into a woman with great sensitivity to the underprivileged of all creeds, races, and nations. Her constant work to improve their lot made her one of the most loved—and for some years one of the most reviled—women of her generation.

She was born in New York City on October 11, 1884, daughter of Anna Hall and Elliott Roosevelt, younger brother of Theodore. When her mother died in 1892, the children went to live with Grandmother Hall her adored father died only two years later. Attending a distinguished school in England gave her, at 15, her first chance to develop self-confidence among other girls.

Apprehensive at the thought of being a wallflower, she returned for a debut that she dreaded. In her circle of friends was a distant cousin, handsome young Franklin Delano Roosevelt. They became engaged in 1903 and were married in 1905, with her uncle the president giving the bride away. Within 11 years Eleanor bore six children one son died in infancy. “I suppose I was fitting pretty well into the pattern of a fairly conventional, quiet, young society matron,” she wrote later in her autobiography.

In Albany, where Franklin served in the state Senate from 1910 to 1913, Eleanor started her long career as political helpmate. She gained a knowledge of Washington and its ways while he served as assistant secretary of the navy. When he was stricken with poliomyelitis in 1921, she tended to him devotedly. She became active in the women’s division of the State Democratic Committee to keep his interest in politics alive. From his successful campaign for governor in 1928 to the day of his death, she dedicated her life to his purposes. She became his eyes and ears, a trusted and tireless reporter.

When Mrs. Roosevelt came to the White House in 1933, she understood social conditions better than any of her predecessors and she transformed the role of first lady accordingly. She never shirked official entertaining she greeted thousands with charming friendliness. She also broke precedent to hold press conferences, travel to all parts of the country, give lectures and radio broadcasts, and express her opinions candidly in a daily syndicated newspaper column, “My Day.”

This made her a tempting target for political enemies but her integrity, her graciousness, and her sincerity of purpose endeared her personally to many—from heads of state to servicemen she visited abroad during World War II. As she had written wistfully at 14: “no matter how plain a woman may be truth loyalty stamped upon her face all will be attracted to her.”

After the president’s death in 1945 she returned to a cottage at their Hyde Park estate she told reporters: “the story is over.” Within a year, however, she began her service as American spokesman in the United Nations. She continued a vigorous career until her strength began to wane in 1962. She died in New York City that November, and was buried at Hyde Park beside her husband on the grounds of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.


Assista o vídeo: Dia mundial da criança