Having read books for free in the City of McAllen Memorial Library since 1944, this month I was stunned to find a ghost there.
Browsing in the books about real people, an odd title caught my eye. It was “NO ORDINARY TIME” by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
This was one of the 20 biographies in the McAllen Library aboutPresident Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The subtitle was “Franklin and EleanorRoosevelt, The Home Front in World War II.”
Standing there transfixed, reading fast, I discoverd this was the recent (since 1994) biography that covered the all-time record of four terms of being president.
This emphasis focused on the famous couple’s personal life as well as the war years.
The author’s superb searching and finding would surprise and shockmany, probably most, of its readers. She did a deep search involving hundreds of people. She wrote, I believe, one of the best biographies of thisfascinating president, his famed writing and his outspoken, brilliant wife.
Their friends, enemies, and a cast of thousands they knew around the world, made history, chiefly good. But there were mistakes andtragedies, too.
In a “family newspaper” I cannot print, I believe, some of the extraordinary bits that might shock grandparents, as well as children who can read, and many others. Both FDR and Eleanor had several close friends who often came to stay at the White House. This author turned guest lists into a work of art, plus many trips to rather unexpected places.
Again, the book detailed how and why the Presidental Family acted as they did, at times. Yet they proved a team that helped win, without doubt, the Second World War after Hitler came close to conquering the world, with Japan’s help.
No, I never read a book quite like this, out of thousands over the years.The McAllen Library remains an open-to-all gold mine, free. Try it and see.It has something to help everybody.
You don’t need to read books like “No Ordinary Time,” but let me againplug the Valley libraries. You can learn more from a great book than from watching a month of TV. And they are free, if you don’t lose themor keep them too long.
As Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fearis fear itself.” I heard him say it on the radio when I was a boyin the Lower Rio Grande Valley. And you can try the other 19biograpies about FDR, if you don’t like “No Ordinary Time”.
That book has 636 pages, all of which I read within seven days, it moved so fast, plus another 122 pages with names of people and notes. The author took so many notes, she made it resonate with a deep echo of facts and 87 interviews, plus several hundred facts quoting written records.
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