First Ladies: From Martha Washington to Laura Bush

( 2 )

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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 large.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195166767
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/28/2003
  • Edition description: Updated and Expanded Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 447
  • Sales rank: 1,277,198
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

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).

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1 Setting Precedents: The First Presidents' Wives (1789-1829) 3
2 Young Substitutes for First Ladies (1829-1869) 33
3 Three Exceptions: Sarah Childress Polk, Mary Todd Lincoln, and Julia Dent Grant 58
4 The Limited Promise of the "New Woman" (1877-1901) 84
5 The Office of First Lady: A Twentieth Century Development 117
6 The Paradoxical 1920s 153
7 Breaking Precedents and Reaffirming Old Ones (1933-1961) 185
8 The Turbulent Sixties 220
9 New Dimensions to the Job of First Lady (1974-1993) 255
10 A New Generation in the White House (1993- ) 288
11 Presidential Wives and the Press 322
12 "The Women They Married...": Some Conclusions 349
Notes 375
Appendices 431
Index 439
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2013

    I enjoyed reading this book about the First Ladies. From Marth

    I enjoyed reading this book about the First Ladies. From Martha Washington to Laura Bush. The women were as complex as their husbands. And also the product of their times. It is so interesting that First Ladies have as much as an impact on the American people as the presidents. Some of the wives were very involved and stimulated by their political importance on the country and some just hated the job. Some of the women could have been a better president then their husbands. Which goes to show you that the country really needs a woman president. Women have a better understanding of people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2003

    Fine Reading

    Every President of the United States, with one exception, had a wife. Wives play an unseen, but vital role in any man's life. So it was and is with the wives of our Presidents, and Ms. Caroli has done a splendid job in documenting their histories.

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