Blanche Wiesen Cook

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Blanche Wiesen Cook
Blanche Wiesen Cook 2018a.jpeg
Blanche Wiesen Cook in 2018
Born (1941-04-20) April 20, 1941 (age 80)
New York City
OccupationHistorian and professor
Notable work
Eleanor Roosevelt, 3-volume biography

Blanche Wiesen Cook (born April 20, 1941 in New York City) is a historian and professor of history. She is a recipient of the Bill Whitehead Award.


Cook is the author of a three-volume biography about Eleanor Roosevelt: Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume One 1884–1933 (published 1992); Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume 2, The Defining Years, 1933–1938 (2000); and Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 3: The War Years and After, 1939-1962 (2016). Volume One was awarded the 1992 Biography prize from the Los Angeles Times. [1] A New York Times review of the third volume called the entire biography a "rich portrait" of the "monumental and inspirational life of Eleanor Roosevelt."[2] NPR included the third volume in its "Best books of 2016."[3] Notably, the biography details a disputed affair between Eleanor Roosevelt and reporter Lorena Hickok.[4][5] (This affair has itself been the subject of other books.)[6]

She edited Toward the Great Change: Crystal and Max Eastman on Feminism, Antimilitarism, and Revolution, published in 1976, and Crystal Eastman on Women and Revolution, published in 1978.[7]

Cook is also the author of The Declassified Eisenhower: A Divided Legacy of Peace and Political Warfare, which was listed as a "notable book" in 1981 by the New York Times.[8]

Cook wrote opinion pieces for the New York Times, including "Clearly, Eisenhower Was a 'Militant Liberal'" (1980)[9] and "The Trashing of CUNY" (1994).[10]

Academic career[edit]

She is a Distinguished Professor of History and Women's Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York.[11] She is also a Distinguished Professor at the Graduate Center, CUNY.[12]

An oral history interview with Cook is included in the Living U.S. women's history oral history project, 1999-2005, in which 51 scholars of women's history were interviewed. These oral histories are housed in the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History at Smith College.[13]

Cook co-founded the Freedom of Information and Access Committee of the Organization of American Historians, is a former vice president for research at the American Historical Association, and was chair of the Fund for Open Information and Accountability.[14]

In 1988, Cook took part in The History and Consequences of Anticommunism conference, where she argued that “every moment of our era has been touched and diminished by this crusade.”[15]


Cook received the 2010 Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle.[16]


  1. ^ "Los Angeles Times, Festival of Books, Book Prizes". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2017-10-19. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  2. ^ Showalter, Elaine (2016-11-14). "Blanche Wiesen Cook Concludes Her Biography of Eleanor Roosevelt". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  3. ^ "The 10 Best Books Of 2016 Faced Tough Topics Head On". Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  4. ^ Cohen, Robert (June 2017). "Out of the Closet and into History?: The Eleanor Roosevelt–Lorena Hickok Affair". Reviews in American History. 45 (2): 313–322. doi:10.1353/rah.2017.0045 – via Project MUSE.
  5. ^ "Body of Evidence (Letter to the Editor)". The New York Times. 1999-07-25. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  6. ^ Quinn, Susan (2017). Eleanor and Hick: the love affair that shaped a First Lady. ISBN 9781410495709. OCLC 959258062.
  7. ^ The Oxford Companion to American Military History. pp. 241–. ISBN 978-0-19-507198-6.
  8. ^ "NOTABLE BOOKS OF THE YEAR". The New York Times. 1981-12-06. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  9. ^ "Clearly, Eisenhower Was a 'Militant Liberal'". The New York Times. 1980-12-05. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  10. ^ Cook, Blanche Wiesen; Cooper, Sandy E. (1994-09-08). "The Trashing of CUNY". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  11. ^ "Blanche Wiesen Cook". John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  12. ^ "Blanche Wiesen Cook". Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  13. ^ Rothschild, Mary Aickin; Sklar, Kathryn Kish; Sophia Smith Collection (1999). Living U.S. women's history oral history project. OCLC 793209156.
  14. ^ Junctures in women's leadership : social movements. Trigg, Mary K., 1955-, Bernstein, Alison R., 1947-2016. New Brunswick, N.J. 23 May 2016. ISBN 9780813566016. OCLC 947837325.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  15. ^ DeeDee Halleck (2016-05-03), Anticommunism in American Intellectual Life, archived from the original on 2021-12-21, retrieved 2018-07-24
  16. ^ "The Publishing Triangle Awards Will Be Held at The New School for Social Research". Retrieved 2017-10-18.

External links[edit]