Books: Angel on F.D.R.'s Shoulder

A feminist biography of Eleanor Roosevelt sees her as a vulnerable, tireless, generous pioneer

In a vintage animated cartoon, a little kitty cat falls into an icy well, and Pluto debates with himself whether to save her. A tiny red Pluto with horns and tail appears on his shoulder and tells him, in the voice of a gangster, "Nah, forget about the cat, whadda you care?" On the dog's other shoulder there appears a tiny Pluto outfitted as the better angel of his nature. She commands Pluto, "Now save that kitty!" Every adult seeing the cartoon years ago recognized the busybody angel's fluting voice as that of Eleanor Roosevelt.

Her detractors had great fun with...

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