First ladies : the saga of the presidents' wives and their power, 1789-1961 by Carl Sferrazza AnthonyIn this previously untold story of a unique role and its evolving definitions, Carl Sferrazza Anthony has produced "an entirely new take on the first ladyship" and "an awesome work of scholarship" (Library Journal). Opening with a historic trip made in 1789 by Martha Washington from Mount Vernon to New York, then the capital city, First Ladies brings these women alive as never before in a saga of intertwining lives, friends, rivals, and allies. Among the women profiled in this first of a definitive two-volume history: Dolley Madison, Julia Tyler, Mary Lincoln, Julia Grant, Nellie Taft, Edith Wilson, Grace Coolidge, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Mamie Eisenhower. From the Federalist to the Antebellum periods, through the Gilded and Jazz ages, from the Great Depression to the Fabulous Fifties, thirty-four women confronted the towering events of American history. They also helped establish its course. We also glimpse the early years of the living First Ladies, from Jacqueline Kennedy to Barbara Bush.
Publication Date: 1992-03-27
First ladies. Volume II : the saga of the presidents' wives and their power, 1961-1990 by Carl Sferrazza AnthonyThe closing of a definitive two-volume history, First Ladies is the fascinating examination of the modern role of the Presidents' wives. Enlisting the cooperation of all living First Ladies and gleaning new perspectives from interviews with their families, friends, and staffs, Carl Sferrazza Anthony reveals the remarkable influence of their office. From Jacqueline Kennedy's plan to begin an arts and humanities department to Lady Bird Johnson's impact on the environment; from Pat Nixon's diplomatic missions to Africa and South America to Betty Ford's controversial feminist views; from Rosalynn Carter's agenda of social welfare legislation to Nancy Reagan's media savvy and Barbara Bush's literacy programs, First Ladies shows how seven women heightened awareness and lowered resistance to change, how they often became victims of unvalidated speculation and national tragedy. Their considerable power as unelected presidential advisers was generally underestimated. Now, in First Ladies, the balance of power is authoritatively weighed.