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American Experience - Eleanor Roosevelt Rating:

Born into a world of wealth and privilege, she became a champion of the poor and downtrodden, and her work redefined the role of America's First Lady. Learn about the public and personal life of Eleanor Roosevelt in this "American Experience" production.

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This lively documentary portrays one of the 20th century's most fascinating figures, a shy girl who would grow up to spend 30 years as the most powerful woman in America. Eleanor Roosevelt, who came to be both loved and hated by millions, grew up in a troubled home, losing both parents when she was young yet somehow developing a sense of compassion she would bring to a long career in public life. Her marriage to a young rising star of American politics, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was deeply troubled, and this documentary reveals the personal betrayal that was assiduously kept hidden from public view during their lifetimes.

Standing by her husband, Eleanor became, in the assessment of historians who speak on camera, one of the most skillful politicians of her time. Using early archival photographs to illustrate her early life, and extensive newsreel footage to document her decades on the public stage, the role of Mrs. Roosevelt in pioneering causes and expanding the traditional duties of the First Lady is presented in a very entertaining and informative manner. Extensive interviews with descendants, friends, and scholars also contribute to an incisive look at the woman who inspired the nation during the depths of the Depression, comforted Americans during World War II, and, after President Roosevelt's death, played a pivotal role in America's prominence at the United Nations. -- Robert J. McNamara

Product Details

Media Type Movie
Recommended Age 12 and up
Actors David McCullough, Alfre Woodard
Director Sue Williams
Running Time 150 minutes
Studio PBS
Release Date Jan 10, 2006
Language English