Nurturing Eleanor Roosevelt Family and friends
This chapter shows how much of the groundwork for Eleanor Roosevelt's response was in part laid down during her childhood and young adulthood. She argues that children who receive inadequate nurturing may experience uncertainty about themselves; a means of compensation in some is to seek admiring responses to counteract their lack of self-esteem. The lack of familial intimacy, coupled with the failures within her family, made her friendships all the more important–some of these relationships were with Jewish–Americans who had a crucial influence on her outlook towards the creation of Israel. Observing the frenetic pace of her life, friends believed that she sought, through constant activity, to assuage certain hurts. Roosevelt's birth to privilege, in October 1884, only superficially compensated for the emotional poverty that befitted a childhood where the mother was made distraught by her husband's addictions.