Following her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt's death in April 1945, Eleanor Roosevelt was freed from the constraints of the White House and eagerly expanded her career. She used radio to communicate on a wide variety of issues and became a radio pioneer, broadcasting from the 1920s, starting with her own radio show in 1932. She spoke on US domestic radio, the BBC, Voice of America, on French radio (in French) and Italian radio (in Italian). She was also interviewed in Spanish and German. In 1948 she hosted a twice weekly radio program with her daughter Anna on ABC.
This new article examines the way in which Eleanor Roosevelt communicated with her listeners and finds that she was remarkable at integrating the domestic with the global, at balancing her public and private personas as well as her personas as a knowledgeable expert and an ordinary, inquisitive learner. She understood - as few others - how best to use of the medium of radio to negotiate these contrasts.
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