A Song in My Heart, A Hole in My Head

Eleanor Roosevelt and I go way back. My father taught me to read from a stack of her "My Day" columns in 1940. We happened to have a plentiful supply of "My Day" in the house because the doctor had refused to be responsible for my reactionary grandmother's blood pressure unless she stopped reading it. I was at the stage when children discover the scissors and enjoy cutting things out of newspapers, so they named me official censor. Far from raising the blood pressure as her early columns so often did, the samples in this third volume, written between the triumph of Eisenhower Republicanism and her death in 1962, more often than not raise the gorge. There is enough banality here to choke John Chancellor himself.

Lauding the pacifistic outlook of the "Interdependence Council," one of those starry-eyed fringe groups she could never resist, she wrote in 1956: "This organization may be only a candle lighted in a world which at present seems very dark to those who would like to see peace and goodwill established. But even a candle is better than no light at all, as many of us have discovered who live in areas where occasionally electric light is cut off for a time."

On how to be rich without money: "One of the real gifts that brings you riches, I think, is the power of appreciation. If you can enjoy the blue sky, the beauty of the fresh snow, or the first green of spring, if you...

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