Eleanor Roosevelt: “The Struggle for Human Rights”


Eleanor Roosevelt was arguably the most active and outspoken of the nation’s first ladies, one who hurled herself into the national political arena and into international issues such as human rights. The more she observed the welter of events through which she lived, the more roles she assumed and the more articulate, more public, and more insistent her voice became. In the process, she used a wide variety of media, including print, radio, film, and television, to make her case, generating twenty-seven books, more than eight thousand columns, over 550 articles, and an average of seventy-five lectures a year. Her output, covering a wide range of topics, gives readers insight into her major concerns, among them the role of women in politics, racial equality in the United States, and international human rights. In 1948, Roosevelt attended the third session of the UN General Assembly in Paris. As chairperson of the UN Human Rights Commission, she gave a speech, “The Struggle...

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Eleanor Roosevelt (Library of Congress)

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