Essay Eleanor Roosevelt

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A LIFE OF LEADERSHIP Introduction The legacy of Eleanor Roosevelt is essentially contested. To many, her role as First Lady, delegate to the UN, Democratic Party member, humanitarian and social activist immortalized her as "the conscience of the nation". However critics - deriding her as a "gadfly" and an "unfit woman" - cite many flaws in her leadership capacity. Roosevelt was never elected to office. She was reluctant to assume the responsibilities of being the First Lady. Unlike Lincoln or King no single ‘great' speech defined her vision, passion or ideology. In effect, the success of Roosevelt is merely the result of a privileged background and simply being ‘in the right place, at the right time'. This
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It is easy to presume that that person is in the position they are in because of money, connections or an extraordinary intellect. We may suppose that any adversity or problems that this type of person has encountered are on another level to those that we face. Perhaps we don't imagine that there were private obstacles to overcome, personality traits that needed adjustment or adaptation, that private insecurities or personal failings had to be surmounted. It is simplest to assume that the role of leadership was cut out for him/her alone. More often than not, one imagines that the "leader" in an individual emerges early on in life, apparent from an early age: a bright child with above average intelligence, active in all walks of life, successful in anything that he puts his/her hand to, popular with peers and admired by elders. But nothing is that simple. Take Eleanor Roosevelt: Eleanor Roosevelt was born into a rich elitist family. Her life was blessed with plenty, and she was brought up on a diet of French maids, German maids and governesses. Her wealthy extended family assured her the privilege of lavish living arrangements, she was brought on frequent visits to the theater, she had libraries of books at her disposal and was given the chance to travel the world. The circumstances of her privileged yet very dysfunctional

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