First Ladies / Edition 1

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This biographical dictionary covers all who have held this esteemed "office," including current First Lady Laura Bush. An in-depth introductory essay traces the history of the first lady, including changes in the conception of what a president's wife should do and be, and how these perceptions have been affected by changes in society overall. The book also offers intriguing vital statistics, such as presidents who had no wives during their presidencies, wives who devoted themselves to purely domestic duties, and wives who died during their husbands' terms in office.

Arranged chronologically by term of presidency, each biographical entry includes a detailed biography with an emphasis on life during the presidency, a chronology, and suggestions for further reading about that first lady.<%END%>

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The 39 First Ladies are comprehensively covered in these books, both of which are arranged chronologically by term of presidency; use the essay format; are supported by sidebars, text boxes, and personal chronologies listing the basic facts of each woman's life (e.g., birth and death dates, date of marriage, children); and contain illustrations and an index. In this revised four-volume set from the Schneiders (coauthors, American Women in the Progressive Era), the biographical essays average eight pages-just long enough to give a fair picture of each First Lady, warts and all-and offer resources for further research. Especially interesting is a section following the essays that shares selections from several of the First Ladies' personal correspondences-some giving advice and encouragement to fellow First Ladies. This second edition, updated through the January 2005 inauguration, also contains helpful information on those women who were not married to presidents but acted as official White House hostesses for many of them as well as on the wives who died before their husbands became President. Freelance editor Harris's (One Thousand New York Buildings) book is a strong and affordable complement to the Schneiders' work, offering information on such interesting topics as the "friends and foes" of the First Ladies. His Fact Book contains 700-plus photographs-far more than does the Schneiders' book-including 16 pages of wonderful color photos that detail these women as fashion trendsetters throughout history. It provides essentially the same information, with the same amount of historical context, as the Biographical Dictionary but lacks the Schneiders' strong supporting materials: the transcribed letters and extensive bibliography and endnotes. Bottom Line For general readers simply interested in dipping into this part of presidential history, Harris's book is a fine choice. It also gives readers many more illustrations for a significantly cheaper price. For students working on assignments and for verification of information through source notes, the Schneiders' set is the stronger choice. Both works would make for fascinating reading in public libraries; the Biographical Dictionary is also a good choice for high school and undergraduate collections.-Karen Sutherland, Bartlett P.L., IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816041954
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Series: Political Biographies
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Age range: Up to 17 years
  • Product dimensions: 7.37 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.95 (d)

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