Eleanor Vs. Ike – Book Review

Eleanor vs. Ike coverI received this book from my friend The Literate Housewife who reviewed it and interviewed the author. She enjoyed it very much and thought I would as well, so she passed it on.

The basic question explored by “Eleanor Vs. Ike,” by author Robin Gerber, is what would have happened had the immensely popular Eleanor Roosevelt run for President in 1952, instead of Adlai Stevenson. I was quite curious how exactly Gerber was going to remotely realistically end up with the Democratic Party selecting Eleanor as their candidate, but she solved that problem quite well with a plausible crisis at the convention.

I am by no means an expert on what happened in that election, but it was interesting to see how events might have been changed with a different candidate on the Democratic ticket. Nixon’s infamous “Checkers speech,” for instance, doesn’t go over nearly as well with the politically savvy Eleanor in the race.

The beginning of the book seemed a bit fluffy, lots of flashbacks to Eleanor’s time with FDR to set her political and emotional background. However, the book quickly gained strength and by the midway point I hardly wanted to put it down. I could hardly believe when I was finished that I had already read over 300 pages!

Overall, it is a quick and entertaining “what if”.

Buy this book on Amazon –Eleanor vs. Ike: A Novel

5 comments to Eleanor Vs. Ike – Book Review

  • I just got an email back from the person who won the contest. She had the same experience you did with the first part of the book. That’s pretty interesting. I am wondering if I didn’t feel the same way (although I can see exactly what you are saying) because of some of the Michigan connections? I’m going to have to give that some thought.

  • I didn’t dislike the beginning, it was just a little lighter than my taste, but it got stronger. I do think, though, that it was Robin’s way of trying to draw people into where Eleanor was in her life, both politically and emotionally. I’m not sure I would have noticed it as much if I hadn’t read “Franklin and Lucy” in the last month and gotten all of that background.

  • I’m not usually a fan of alternate history novels but this time period – and these two people – are fascinating to me.

  • this sounds interesting. I don’t remember seeing it at The Literate Housewife, though; how odd. I think I’ll keep my eyes open for this one at the library. (although, as we’re in Canada, I don’t know that any of the libraries around here would have it.)

  • I’m glad I clicked on this book to read your review (via your contest) because I just assumed that this was nonfiction. I must say I’m much more interested it this book now that I know it’s an alternate history instead! Thanks for the good review!