The lecture is co-sponsored by Wittenberg’s history department, the Wittenberg Guild and the women’s studies program. Cook, who was chosen Scholar of the Year in 1996 by the New York State Council on the Humanities, has published two volumes on the former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, including her most recent work, "Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume Two," which was published in July 1999.
The first volume, published in 1992, remained on The New York Times bestseller list for three months and received several awards, including the 1992 Biography Prize from The Los Angeles Times and the Lambda Literary Award. Cook’s biography presents Roosevelt 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, and a crusader for social justice worldwide.
Cook, who received her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1970, has written frequent reviews and columns for newspapers and periodicals, and she has edited and contributed to several anthologies. Her book, "The Declassified Eisenhower," was listed by The New York Times Book Review as one of the notable books for 1981. In addition, she has hosted her own program for Radio Pacifica, served as vice president for research of the American Historical Association, served as vice president and chair of the Fund for Open Information and Accountability, and has made frequent television appearances.