Sara and Eleanor The Story of Sara Delano Roosevelt and Her Daughter-in-Law, Eleanor Roosevelt

Jan Pottker

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

416 Pages



Request Desk Copy Request Exam Copy

We think we know the story of Eleanor Roosevelt—the shy, awkward girl who would redefine the role of First Lady, becoming a civil rights activist and an inspiration to generations of young women. As legend has it, the bane of Eleanor's life was her demanding and domineering mother-in-law, Sara Delano Roosevelt. Biographers have overlooked the complexity of a relationship that had, over the years, been reinterpreted and embellished by Eleanor herself.

Through diaries, letters, and interviews with Roosevelt family and friends, Jan Pottker uncovers a story never before told. The result is a triumphant blend of social history and psychological insight—a revealing look at Eleanor Roosevelt and the woman who made her historic achievements possible.


Praise for Sara and Eleanor

"Fills a long-standing void in the Roosevelt story and adds tremendously to our understanding of Roosevelt personal history."—Eleanor Roosevelt Seagraves, grandchild of Eleanor Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"Pottker has extensively researched this book and filled it with convincing and engaging details to make her case for Sara . . . Perhaps Pottker's sympathetic portrait is overdue."—Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Jan Pottker

  • Jan Pottker is the author of seven previous books, including Janet and Jackie: The Story of a Mother and Her Daughter, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Pottker's interest in Sara and Eleanor was sparked when she realized that a myth had grown around Eleanor at the expense of Sara—much the same as the relationship between Jackie and her mother had been underplayed and distorted over time. Pottker has a Ph.D. from Columbia University and lives in Potomac, Maryland, with her husband, Andrew S. Fishel.

  • Jan Pottker