Eleanor Roosevelt served as her husband’s eyes and ears throughout his twelve years in office; she knew every corner of the United States from personal visits and meetings with locals without a cocoon of Secret Service protection. Starting in 1941, the very hands-on First Lady solved the personal problems of worried Americans while she traversed the continent. Ladies’ Home Journal included her first of several advice columns, entitled “If You Ask Me,” which shares both its name and content with this book. Collected from over twenty years of columns, Ms. Roosevelt’s writing exudes purpose, clarity, and determination.
Ms. Roosevelt treated large and small concerns equally and responded to queries about topics that were undeniably taboo with the same warmth and practicality as she did lighter fare. Ms. Roosevelt also showed a remarkable willingness to change her opinions after considering more information. She kept an open mind through her life and never lost the humility to admit she was wrong. While Ms. Roosevelt strongly stated her point of view, she never dismissed an opposing take out of hand, preferring to explore and engage with those who did not agree. Her remarkable voice and wit make for great advice and fascinating reading.