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First Women Audiobook

First Women: The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies

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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (195 )
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  •  
    Lorry Sorgman 05-10-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Well worth the read !"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Southern belle Georgia, USA 05-07-16
    Southern belle Georgia, USA 05-07-16 Member Since 2014

    southern belle

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    "Who is missing?"

    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

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine Johnson 04-16-16

    mom of two

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    "Tangential, fragmented with dull narration"

    Sequencing of stories is quite fragmented, many similar to author's previous books. Overall, no spoilers here!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brian 04-13-16
    brian 04-13-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Another fine book about the White House."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would for the history of it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of First Women?

    Jackie's reactioon to JFK's aassassination.


    What about Karen White’s performance did you like?

    She's good with different accents when she thinks they'll work.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Some parts made me laugh, others made me cry.


    Any additional comments?

    A must-have for history buffs.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret P. Johnson Palm City, FL United States 08-23-16
    Margaret P. Johnson Palm City, FL United States 08-23-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Review"

    I enjoyed the book but did not care for the narrator. She was overly and too dramatic. Found it annoying.

    Marnie Johnson.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Booher 06-30-16
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    "Terrible computer sounding audio voice"

    Terrible audio. It sounds like it is computer generated voice and impossible to listen to comfortably.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katie Cookeville, TN United States 11-30-16
    Katie Cookeville, TN United States 11-30-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Choppy and Robotic"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane E Hans Chesterfield, Missouri United States 11-23-16
    Diane E Hans Chesterfield, Missouri United States 11-23-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Just like us..."




    It was joyable to hear the similarity of concerns of First Ladies to we ordinary wives & mothers

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marian 11-05-16
    Marian 11-05-16
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    "Good Reading"
    What made the experience of listening to First Women the most enjoyable?

    Focus on the first ladies as individuals and their personal quirks.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Kate Andersen Brower? Why or why not?

    Sure - while there was some old information there were some new insights about the first ladies I found interesting.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There wasnt one in particular.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue 10-28-16
    Sue 10-28-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Disappointing"
    Would you try another book from Kate Andersen Brower and/or Karen White?

    Sadly, no. The writing and the presentation matched one another well, but not to their credit. They were both stiff and lacking in fluidity. The writing is disorganized and disjointed, lacks depth of insight, and contains grammatical and other errors. The sentence structure is laborious at times which makes it difficult to follow and therefore distracting.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The content is fine in terms of presenting interesting information in its own right. However, there is a lot of repetition. This is understandable knowing that certain incidents and anecdotes fit into more than one section of the book, but there is little finesse in acknowledging the repetition and making new meaning of any given second mention.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The reader needs to emote and remove her stiffness. Her voice lacks smoothness in its range and enunciation. She has a way of putting the emphasis on the wrong syllables and words. Initially I actually assumed the reader was a computer. She seems disengaged from the subject and the writing.


    What character would you cut from First Women?

    None. They are all important for matching the scope of the book. In fact, I wish there had been some further discussion of the "second ladies"—wives of the vice presidents.


    Any additional comments?

    The book itself was uninspiring and I felt it was a wasted opportunity. It was more a litany of facts and vignettes than an exploration. There was little insight and few parallels drawn or conclusions reached. The audio was the worst presentation I've heard. Both were surprisingly disappointing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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