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It's Up to the Women

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Apr 11, 2017




In this timeless account from Eleanor Roosevelt, the former First Lady shares her advice for hardworking women as they make their mark on an ever-changing America.

"Eleanor Roosevelt never wanted her husband to run for president. When he won, she . . . went on a national tour to crusade on behalf of women. She wrote a regular newspaper column. She became a champion of women's rights and of civil rights. And she decided to write a book." — Jill Lepore, from the Introduction

"Women, whether subtly or vociferously, have always been a tremendous power in the destiny of the world," Eleanor Roosevelt wrote in It's Up to the Women, her book of advice to women of all ages on every aspect of life. Written at the height of the Great Depression, she called on women particularly to do their part — cutting costs where needed, spending reasonably, and taking personal responsibility for keeping the economy going.

Whether it's the recommendation that working women take time for themselves in order to fully enjoy time spent with their families, recipes for cheap but wholesome home-cooked meals, or America's obligation to women as they take a leading role in the new social order, many of the opinions expressed here are as fresh as if they were written today.

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"Eight decades after the Great Depression, American women are facing yet another test of courage and ingenuity. Eleanor Roosevelt's advice to women living through the world's greatest economic crisis remains relevant, comforting, and, for all of its practicality, profoundly inspiring."—Amanda Foreman, bestselling author of Georgiana and A World On Fire
"In l933, Eleanor Roosvelt launched her first book to galvanize an urgent movement for democracy, peace and freedom. As fascism threatened the world, she believed women's activism would save the future... This book, bold and vividly written, is needed NOW!"—Blanche Wiesen Cook, Distinguished Professor of History at John Jay College and author of a prize-winning three-volume biography of Eleanor Roosevelt
"It's Up to the Women challenges us anew to foster community, adhere to the highest standards of ethics, raise fearless children with a concern for the world, and embrace and act on the notion that it is 'the attitude of women towards changes in society [that] is going to determine to a great extent our future in this country.' Inspiration for the work ahead is found here, in wise advice for women in the 1930s."—Julia Stasch, President, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
"This must-read primer by America's greatest first lady is so much more than quaint, decades-old history. [It's Up to the Women] powerfully reminds us of how much women have achieved since Eleanor's time-and how much more must be done to secure the level playing field she advocated. Ably reintroduced by the brilliant Jill Lepore, this book is as timely now as when it first appeared in the depths of the Depression.. . . What Eleanor advised women then remains truer than ever today: our mission will only be fulfilled when 'we can say we never saw a wrong without trying to right it.'"—Jennifer J. Raab, President, Hunter College and founder of Roosevelt House at Hunter
"Whatever the topic, Roosevelt's advice is insistently practical... wholesome and heartening."—Kirkus Reviews
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