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 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.
I enjoyed the book but did not care for the narrator. She was overly and too dramatic. Found it annoying.
Love thrillers -political, military, spy, legal, and medical.
The narrator did not take the time to learn how to pronounce Rosalynn Carter's name. Because I have the same name with the same pronunciation, I cringed every time it was spoken. The story was difficult to follow at times because the narrator did not take the time to pause before an anecdote about another First Lady.
British ex-pat living in NC. Have more personalities than Sybil which is reflected in my choice of books! Frustrated writer at heart.
This is a study of ten First Ladies. What a diverse bunch they are indeed. Maybe I have been living under the proverbial 'rock' but I had no inkling about these 'Ladies'. I was under the impression that they had a 'voice' in the West Wing. I was so sure that as they had sacrificed everything in order to assist their spouses into America's 'Top Job' that they would be respected and that that their input would be eagerly sought after. On the other hand I also thought that each one of these women would be gracious, yet assertive. Grateful to all those in service at the White House and to those who helped both her and her husband into that most prestigious and sought after position of influence and power. In some cases I could not have been more wrong.
Some of these women have been resilient and immense strength. Never losing their cool. Others, I am afraid to say acted up like petulant children performing their duties with a pout on their lips. What really got to me though, regardless of their behavior, be it good or bad was the fact that their husband always will keep his title but they will lose theirs and become the FORMER First Lady! Now isn't THAT infuriating?
Enough to make your blood boil? Read the book. You will not be bored
In general really enjoyed this book. A bit redundant at times but it's evident that the author did a significant amount of research & large # interviews.
The narrator's voice/delivery is quite stilted but the content is good.
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