Eleanor Roosevelt: A Defining First Lady

University of Virginia

Allida Black, Ph.D., is Special Advisor and Historian to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Visiting Distinguished Scholar at the Miller Center for the Study of the Presidency at the University of Virginia. She also serves as editor emeritus of the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project and research professor of history and international affairs at George Washington University. Widely recognized as an expert on Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Professor Black has written and edited ten books, including Casting Her Own Shadow: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Shaping of Postwar Liberalism, as well as a variety of articles on women, politics, and human rights policy.



Eleanor Roosevelt is shrouded in stereotypes: she was FDR’s eyes and ears, an idealist who did not do or understand policy, a woman scorned who sought the public’s love, and many more.

All are convenient hooks to put this complex, influential woman in a box — and one that strips her of her vision, power, and influence.

In this presentation, leading Roosevelt historian, Allida Black, will discuss Eleanor Roosevelt as both a domestic and an international power broker: from her early days as an activist, to her days as a member of the U.S. United Nations Commission on Human Rights.



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Walter Ariker


We are history lovers and many of the lectures review what we
already know with some new pieces of information.
Professor Black’s lecture was filled with facts, anecdotes, insights
and comments that illuminated the life of Eleanor Roosevelt
and placed her in the context of the historic times in which
she lived. We just wish we could take a full semester course
with her, at the very least.
Thank you.

2 years ago
barbara ann.fields

Extraordinary Woman

Thank you for your research of this extraordinary woman. It shows that in spite of a lack of care and love in her early years, the encouragement of a few good women she rose to influence future generations of women as to what we can do to help change the world.

1 year ago
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