• First Ladies: The Life and Legacy of Mary Todd Lincoln

  • By: Charles River Editors
  • Narrated by: Diane Lehman
  • Length: 1 hr and 47 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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First Ladies: The Life and Legacy of Mary Todd Lincoln  By  cover art

First Ladies: The Life and Legacy of Mary Todd Lincoln

By: Charles River Editors
Narrated by: Diane Lehman
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Publisher's Summary

American presidents have shaped the course of global affairs for generations. But as the saying goes, behind every great man there's a great woman. While the first ladies often remain overshadowed by their husbands, some have carved unique niches in their time and left their own lasting legacy. Dolley Madison helped establish the role of the first lady in the early 1800s. Eleanor Roosevelt gave voice to policy issues in a way that made her a forerunner of first ladies like Hillary Clinton. And Jackie Kennedy created glamorous trends that made her more popular than her husband. In Charles River Editors' First Ladies series, listeners can get caught up on the lives and legacies of America's most famous First Ladies in the time it takes to finish a commute. And they can do so while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known.

It's possible that the world would have remembered Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882) if only because she was the wife of one of America's greatest presidents, and was present for his shocking assassination. But Mary was one of the most unique women to ever be first lady, and she was in the White House during the country's most trying time. Yet history hasn't exactly been kind.

Mary was dealt a tough hand that might have made it impossible for her to ever be popular. The Civil War erupted a month after President Lincoln took office, and Mary was a native southerner who had relatives fighting for the confederacy. To make matters worse, Mary seemed out of touch with the times. She organized lavish balls at a time when the country was literally coming apart at the seams.

©2012 Charles River Editors (P)2015 Charles River Editors

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Great glimpse into the wonderfully eventful life of MTL

There are some surprisingly intimate details about MTL that shine through in the author’s telling of her early years
The years from 1850 on focus mostly on her husband’s multiple campaigns and political maneuvering but a portrait of the couple does come through
For something so short it is surprisingly revealing
Great for anyone who is interested in Mary’s early years or for people who want to brush up on their pre Civil War history
Not sure if the narrator was automated or not. Couldn’t tell but didn’t bother me either way