Books: Daring Rectitude

LOVE, ELEANOR: ELEANOR ROOSEVELT AND HER FRIENDS

by Joseph P. Lash

Doubleday; 534 pages; $19.95

MOTHER & DAUGHTER: THE LETTERS OF ELEANOR AND ANNA ROOSEVELT

Edited by Bernard Asbell

Coward, McCann & Geoghegan;

366 pages; $17.95

She was stiff and prudish and homely and a do-gooder. She signed innumerable petitions and promoted countless social causes without questioning their country of origin or their ultimate goal. But she could also be brainy, fearless and tough, and just hammy enough at times to take the curse off her indomitable goodness. After all, when impressionists mimicked Eleanor Roosevelt's buck-toothed smile, they were also repeating her messages on...

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