No Ordinary Time Short Essay - Answer Key

Doris Kearns Goodwin
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1. What is important about the date of May 9, 1940, in the life of Franklin Roosevelt?

On May 9, 1940, Hitler's armies attacked Britain, Holland, Luxembourg, Belgium, and France. Bombs fell on Brussels, Amsterdam, Chilham, and Rotterdam, then on the French cities of Dunkirk, Calais, and Metz. Roosevelt had been President of the United States for seven years at this point, and he must decide what part the United States would play in a war in Europe.

2. What was Eleanor Roosevelt's position on war?

Eleanor's own views on war were that it was a terrible waste of human life and resources. Money spent on war could be better used on helping those in need.

3. What was the state of Franklin and Eleanor's marriage in 1940?

The author paints a picture of their unusual marriage. Eleanor was never home. Her sensitive accounts of her travels helped her husband understand the everyday needs of Americans. Franklin was paralyzed from the waist down. A valet had to help him with basic care such as dressing, going to the bathroom, and getting in and out of bed. The couple was estranged from each other and surrounded themselves by other people.

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