If You Ask Me : Essential Advice from Eleanor Roosevelt
by Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary Jo Binker

Overview - Experience the timeless wit and wisdom of Eleanor Roosevelt in this annotated collection of candid advice columns that she wrote for more than twenty years.

In 1941, Eleanor Roosevelt embarked on a new career as an advice columnist. She had already transformed the role of first lady with her regular press conferences, her activism on behalf of women, minorities, and youth, her lecture tours, and her syndicated newspaper column.  Read more...

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More About If You Ask Me by Eleanor Roosevelt; Mary Jo Binker
Experience the timeless wit and wisdom of Eleanor Roosevelt in this annotated collection of candid advice columns that she wrote for more than twenty years.

In 1941, Eleanor Roosevelt embarked on a new career as an advice columnist. She had already transformed the role of first lady with her regular press conferences, her activism on behalf of women, minorities, and youth, her lecture tours, and her syndicated newspaper column. When Ladies Home Journal offered her an advice column, she embraced it as yet another way for her to connect with the public. "If You Ask Me" quickly became a lifeline for Americans of all ages.

Over the twenty years that Eleanor wrote her advice column, no question was too trivial and no topic was out of bounds. Practical, warm-hearted, and often witty, Eleanor's answers were so forthright her editors included a disclaimer that her views were not necessarily those of the magazines or the Roosevelt administration. Asked, for example, if she had any Republican friends, she replied, "I hope so." Queried about whether or when she would retire, she said, "I never plan ahead." As for the suggestion that federal or state governments build public bomb shelters, she considered the idea "nonsense." Covering a wide variety of topics--everything from war, peace, and politics to love, marriage, religion, and popular culture--these columns reveal Eleanor Roosevelt's warmth, humanity, and timeless relevance.

  • ISBN-13: 9781501179792
  • ISBN-10: 1501179799
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Publish Date: October 2018
  • Page Count: 272
  • Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.78 pounds

Related Categories

Books > History > United States - 20th Century
Books > Literary Collections > Women Authors
Books > Political Science > Women in Politics

BookPage Reviews

Resolutions: New year, new you!

You've got goals, and we've got the books to help you achieve them. Tackle your resolutions with these 10 books.

The Formula: The Universal Laws of Succes
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RESOLUTION: Work better, not harder, to reach your goals.
FRESH TAKE: If life were a fair fight, talent plus work ethic is all you’d need to succeed—but we’ve all been passed over for opportunities we’re qualified for. With this data-driven book, Albert-László Barabási explores the universal forces that affect our likelihood of success or failure.
GOOD ADVICE: The differences among top contenders in any category are so tiny that they’re essentially immeasurable—which means wine connoisseurs only know so much, and a nice Pinot can come at any price.

Love for Imperfect Things: How to Accept Yourself in a World Striving for Perfection
By Haemin Sunim

RESOLUTION: Practice self-love (beyond just buying bath bombs).
FRESH TAKE: In this gentle, kindhearted guide to inner peace, the Zen Buddhist teacher Haemin Sunim argues that if one begins with self-acceptance, one will have greater empathy for others and an easier time adapting to life’s trials.
GOOD AVICE: When beset with negative emotions, observe your own feelings and then try to trace them back to their roots. You might realize that a bad experience in your past or a subconscious insecurity is influencing your behavior.

How to Hold a Grudge: From Resentment to Contentment—the Power of Grudges to Transform Your Life
By Sophie Hannah

RESOLUTION: Embrace your negative side.
FRESH TAKE: Novelist Sophie Hannah believes that nursing one’s grudges can lead to greater self-knowledge, personal growth and healthier boundaries.
GOOD ADVICE: By using Hannah’s hilarious grudge-grading system, you can channel your angry feelings into a deeper understanding of your own values and set necessary boundaries.

No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work
By Liz Fosslien & Mollie West Duffy

RESOLUTION: Feel great about your work.
FRESH TAKE: Two former tech workers offer a fresh, funny approach to handling workplace relationships. By leaning on emotional intelligence, you, too, can navigate the pitfalls of modern office life. 
GOOD ADVICE: Establish context and trust with colleagues by using “richer communication” channels like voice chat before relying on written, and often misinterpreted, methods like email and instant messages.

Life Admin: How I Learned to Do Less, Do Better, and Live More
By Elizabeth Emens

RESOLUTION: Overcome invisible labor.
FRESH TAKE: From disputing bills to planning a vacation, Elizabeth Emens introduces readers to the concept of admin, our sometimes onerous daily to-do list. Through relatable anecdotes, she breaks down the types of admin in our lives and offers advice on balancing tasks and relationships.
GOOD ADVICE: Talk with your partner about how to divvy up household duties before moving in together or getting married.

Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing as We Age
By Mary Pipher

RESOLUTION: Chart the course for the next phase of your life.
FRESH TAKE: Women face many challenges as they age: misogyny, ageism and physical changes. Yet psychologist Mary Pipher shows that most older women are more content than their younger selves. Pipher offers warm, empathetic guidelines for navigating aging and for recognizing its unexpected gifts. 
GOOD ADVICE: Every life stage is filled with pain and difficulties. The challenges and changes presented by aging are different, but they also present new ways to learn about yourself and cultivate empathy. 

The Monkey Is the Messenger: Meditation and What Your Busy Mind Is Trying to Tell You
By Ralph De La Rosa

RESOLUTION: Finally get into mindfulness and meditation.
FRESH TAKE: Everyone knows we should be meditating, but what if your thoughts just won’t shut up? Ralph De La Rosa draws on Buddhism, neuroscience and psychology to posit that instead of growing increasingly frustrated with these intrusive thoughts, we should accept them as a part of ourselves and use them as a tool to understand ourselves better. 
GOOD ADVICE: Try not to allow circumstances to dictate your emotions. Instead, accept circumstances and view them as an opportunity for growth and learning. 

Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol
By Ruby Warrington

RESOLUTION: Be more mindful of your alcohol intake.
FRESH TAKE: Going without alcohol may sound like an extreme lifestyle change and, frankly, a really dull one. But Ruby Warrington is here to tell you, nonjudgmentally, that cutting out alcohol doesn’t mean you’ll become boring, and it can lead to a happier life, filled with better sleep, health and relationships. 
GOOD ADVICE: If you’re worried about all the fun you’ll miss out on while sober, remind yourself of the phenomenon known as “euphoric recall,” in which an experience is misremembered in a far more positive light than the reality. That epic bachelor party five years ago? It perhaps wasn’t as epic as you remember—but the hangover you’re forgetting no doubt was.

Craftfulness: Mend Yourself by Making Things
By Rosemary Davidson & Arzu Tahsin

RESULTION: Pick up a creative hobby.
FRESH TAKE: Rosemary Davidson and Arzu Tahsin have crafted (sorry) a well-researched guide to the meditative, restorative and mood-lifting effects of working with your hands on a craft or creative pursuit. Filled with advice on how to let go of the pressure of Pinterest perfection, how to make time for crafting in your busy schedule and even a couple of quick beginner projects to get you started, this book is as warm as the scarf you’ll be knitting.
GOOD ADVICE: For too long, we’ve all been focused on the finished product of our artistic pursuits, which can often lead us to abandon less than perfect-looking projects. But there’s joy to be found in the process of making and mending, regardless of our perceived abilities.

If You Ask Me: Essential Advice from Eleanor Roosevelt
Edited by Mary Jo Binker

RESOLUTION: Sail through life with presidential aplomb.
FRESH TAKE: In 1941, the outspoken first lady Eleanor Roosevelt started an advice column. For 20 years, she doled out clever, pithy advice on love, etiquette and issues like gender and race equality. These lovely columns, collected and annotated by Mary Jo Binker, provide sound advice as well as a look into the life and thinking of a legendary first lady.
GOOD ADVICE: Roosevelt was adamant about gender equality in her personal life, writing that she thinks “people are happier in marriage when neither is the boss” and that all relationships are best built on “unselfishness and flexibility.” 


This article was originally published in the January 2019 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

BAM Customer Reviews