First Ladies from Martha Washington to Laura Bush

First Ladies from Martha Washington to Laura Bush

3.61 (34 ratings by Goodreads)
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First Ladies tells the story of one of our nation's most curious institutions, watching the role as it has evolved from ceremonial backdrop to its current place as substantive world figure. This expanded and updated edition brings us up to the present, examining the lives and roles of our most recent First Ladies: Hillary Rodham Clinton and Laura Bush. Reaching back to our first, Martha Washington, Betty Boyd Caroli explores the background, marriage, accomplishments and failures in office of every woman who has served as First Lady--which in some cases included the daughters, daughters-in-law, and sisters of presidents. In new and expanded entries, Caroli focuses her keen critical eye on investigate the acts, advocacies, successes, shortcomings, and legacies of Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush. Following all of her trials and triumphs, from unwelcome White House upstart to praiseworthy U.S. Senator, Caroli captures the essence of Hillary Clinton. She awards Clinton due credit for the influence she added to the position of First Lady, explores with an unflinching eye the suffering Clinton endured, and praises her as stalwart role model to women around the globe. In an entirely new entry, Caroli introduces Laura Bush as a woman of independent thought and action, a former teacher who earned a master's of library science. She shows that Bush is one who eschews political action but is nonetheless passionately committed to enriching education and boosting literacy through reading programs and literacy campaigns. Depicting how each of the remarkable women who have served alongside our presidents have employed the "magic wand" given to them, Caroli reveals not only how each First Lady changed the role, but also how the role changed in response to American culture. In publicizing their accounts and stories, Caroli grants an insider's view on their lives, and also on the history of American women at more

Product details

  • Paperback | 447 pages
  • 136.1 x 203.7 x 23.9mm | 430.92g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Expanded, Updated ed.
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0195166760
  • 9780195166767

Review quote

Praise for the original edition: "Impressive.... Caroli's profiles and observations of American first ladies and their relationship to the media, are intelligent and perceptive."--The Philadelphia Inquirer"Many fascinating sidelights on history.... The succession of First Ladies makes on the whole a dignified parade in her account."--Newsday"An insightful collective portrait."--American History Illustrated"Anyone curious about the politics of the changing roles of women in our social history will find much to ponder here."--The Washington Monthlyshow more

About Caroli

Betty Boyd Caroli holds a Ph.D. in American Civilization from New York University and is Professor of Women's History at the City University of New York. She is the author of Roosevelt Women, Immigrants Who Returned Home, and Inside the White House. She is also co-author of Today's Immigrants: Their Stories (OUP, 1989).show more

Rating details

34 ratings
3.61 out of 5 stars
5 21% (7)
4 29% (10)
3 41% (14)
2 9% (3)
1 0% (0)
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