From the number-one New York Times best-selling author of the groundbreaking backstairs look at the White House The Residence comes an intimate, news-making look at the true modern power brokers at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: the first ladies, from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama.
In one of the most underestimated - and challenging - positions in the world, the first lady of the United States must be many things: an inspiring leader with a forward-thinking agenda of her own; a savvy politician, skilled at navigating the treacherous rapids of Washington; a wife and mother operating under constant scrutiny; and an able CEO responsible for the smooth operation of countless services and special events at the White House.
Now, as she did in her smash number-one best seller The Residence, former White House correspondent Kate Andersen Brower draws on a wide array of untapped, candid sources - from residence staff and social secretaries to friends and political advisers - to tell the stories of the 10 remarkable women who have defined that role since 1960.
Brower offers new insights into this privileged group of remarkable women, including Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Patricia Nixon, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama. The stories she shares range from the heartwarming to the shocking and tragic, exploring everything from the first ladies' political crusades to their rivalries with Washington figures; from their friendships with other first ladies to their public and private relationships with their husbands. She also offers a detailed and insightful new portrait of one of the most-watched first ladies of all time, Hillary Clinton, asking what her tumultuous years in the White House may tell us about her own historic presidential run...and what life could be like with the nation's first first husband.
Candid and illuminating, this first group biography of the modern first ladies provides a revealing look at life upstairs and downstairs at the world's most powerful address.
©2016 Kate Andersen Brower (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
The value of the history of these women, whether Republican or Democrat cannot be overstated. Their commitment to their husband's legacy stands tall in the face of personal challenges. Apparently, only Ronnie, was loyal and faithful to the dignities of the office he represented. True to form, behind every successful man...is a woman with ambition. Only Hilary has repeatedly demonstrated time and again, in the face of tremendous obstacles, her unquenching desire to personally lead the country with a commitment that women's rights are human rights, and human rights are women's rights. She stands on the shoulders of these giants who have indeed participated in the background as co-presidents.
This book jumps from Jackie to Ladybyrd, to Pat to Betty to Nancy,To Laura to Barbara,to Hillary , to Michelle and to all their intertwined relationships. It does so in a disorganized, circular fashion, with one glaring omission: Rosalyn . She is mentioned for very brief moments in the very beginning and end, but gets about 1/10 of the attention of the other First Ladies. No chronology and certainly not equal attention given to all
I enjoyed the book but did not care for the narrator. She was overly and too dramatic. Found it annoying.
I would for the history of it.
Jackie's reactioon to JFK's aassassination.
She's good with different accents when she thinks they'll work.
Some parts made me laugh, others made me cry.
A must-have for history buffs.
Reading allows me to travel through time; to visit the world's unique and stunning places. To become somebody I am not... It is glorious.
First I want to mention the narrator because so many of the reviewers disliked her. I do not agree with those reviewers. I liked Ms. White's conversational manner. I felt as though we were sitting over beverages sharing knowledge. It was a simple, quiet and intimate conversation about the first ladies. I loved it. One caveat: I listen (always) at 1.5 speed or faster so perhaps that helped.
This book was a lovely introduction into a subject I knew little about and has inspired me to seek out more reading material about some of these women. I have always believed that our First Ladies are far more important and influential than most Americans want to believe. Policy is in my opinion always influenced by the families of the President because that is what families do with any human being. I loved learning a little more about these women who stood side by side with the most important men of the last 50 years. The book was a very easy read despite the fact that it advances and retreats through time. I enjoyed learning about how these women interacted with one another and with the staff of the White House. I liked seeing how they sometimes liked and respected each other and sometimes snubbed one another. It felt real and true to life because we all act similarly at various times of our lives.
While I enjoyed many of the facts and stories presented in the book, I found the progression of the book to be choppy (switching between the first ladies every other sentence in some cases). I found myself asking "which one is she talking about now?" I also found the narrator to have a robotic voice with very little inflection. Overall, interesting information was presented. I just didn't care for the writing style and narration.
It was joyable to hear the similarity of concerns of First Ladies to we ordinary wives & mothers
Focus on the first ladies as individuals and their personal quirks.
Sure - while there was some old information there were some new insights about the first ladies I found interesting.
There wasnt one in particular.
No - just like I can't just sit and read a book in one sitting I can't listen to a book in one sitting.
I am not surprised at the pettiness of Mamie Eisenhower re Jackie Kennedy and the wheel chair. In a way it is sad that a middle aged frumpy woman on her way out has to make her pettiness so blatant especially since the incident lives on in history. I read in other biographies about first ladies that Mamie was surprised at Jackie's restoration success story and was upset she hadn't thought of doing it herself. Oh well!
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