Cal Anderson Lecture Series
The Cal Anderson Memorial Lecture Series
Blanche Wiesen Cook
"Eleanor Roosevelt and the Future of Human Rights”
Thursday, October 28, 2010, 7 p.m.
Recital Hall/Communications Building
The Evergreen State College – Olympia
Eleanor Roosevelt played a key role in the drafting and adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As the Declaration was being drafted, a second document, the Covenant on Economic and Social Rights, was also drafted. The United States has never ratified this second document. Eleanor Roosevelt's leading biographer, Blanche Wiesen Cook, will discuss this history and the human rights work that remains to be done today.
About Blanche Wiesen Cook
Blanche Wiesen Cook is Distinguished Professor of History and Women's Studies at the John Jay College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She received the Publishing Triangle’s Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2010. She was chosen for the honor of Scholar of the Year in 1996 by the New York State Council on the Humanities.
Her bestselling book, Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume Two, was published by Viking Penguin in July 1999; the Penguin paperback was published in June 2000. Volume One, published in 1992, remained on The New York Times bestseller list for three months and received many awards, including the 1992 Biography Prize from The Los Angeles Times, and the Lambda Literary Award. It is now available as a Penguin paperback. Professor Cook is now working on the third and final volume of Eleanor Roosevelt. For the first time, in Cook's biography, "ER" is seen as the most important woman in American political history: an activist, a desiring and desired woman, a person of great independence of spirit, a teacher, writer and crusader for social justice and human rights worldwide.
Blanche Wiesen Cook shares Eleanor Roosevelt's commitment to the principle of greater dignity and security for all women and men, and, in addition to her teaching, writes frequent reviews and columns for many newspapers and periodicals. She has edited and contributed to several anthologies, and is the author of Crystal Eastman On Women & Revolution, and The Declassified Eisenhower, a New York Times Book Review notable book of 1981. For more than twenty years, she also produced and hosted her own program for Radio Pacifica, originally called Activists and Agitators, and later retitled Women and the World in the 1990s. Professor Cook appears frequently on television, on such programs as The Today Show, Good Morning America, C-Span's Booknotes, and MacNeil/Lehrer, where she participated in the joint PBS-NBC coverage of the 1992 Democratic National Convention.
Professor Cook is a provocative and engaging speaker on history, politics and women's issues for political, academic and community organizations. She is the former Vice-President for Research of the American Historical Association, and was Vice-President and Chair of the Fund for Open Information and Accountability (FOIA,Inc.) She was also Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Freedom of Information and Access Committee of the Organization of American Historians, which was actively committed to maintaining the integrity of the Freedom of Information Act.
Blanche Wiesen Cook received her Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University in 1970. She lives in New York City.