First Women: The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies

First Women: The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies

3.6 9
by Kate Andersen Brower
     
 

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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the groundbreaking backstairs look at the White House, The Residence, comes an intimate, news-making look at the true modern power brokers at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: the First Ladies, from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama.

One of the most underestimated—and challenging—positions in

Overview

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the groundbreaking backstairs look at the White House, The Residence, comes an intimate, news-making look at the true modern power brokers at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: the First Ladies, from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama.

One of the most underestimated—and challenging—positions in the world, the First Lady of the United States must be many things: an inspiring leader with a forward-thinking agenda of her own; a savvy politician, skilled at navigating the treacherous rapids of Washington; a wife and mother operating under constant scrutiny; and an able CEO responsible for the smooth operation of countless services and special events at the White House. Now, as she did in her smash #1 bestseller The Residence, former White House correspondent Kate Andersen Brower draws on a wide array of untapped, candid sources—from residence staff and social secretaries to friends and political advisers—to tell the stories of the ten remarkable women who have defined that role since 1960.

Brower offers new insights into this privileged group of remarkable women, including Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Patricia Nixon, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama. The stories she shares range from the heartwarming to the shocking and tragic, exploring everything from the first ladies’ political crusades to their rivalries with Washington figures; from their friendships with other first ladies to their public and private relationships with their husbands. She also offers a detailed and insightful new portrait of one of the most-watched first ladies of all time, Hillary Clinton, asking what her tumultuous years in the White House may tell us about her own historic presidential run . . . and what life could be like with the nation’s first First Husband.

Candid and illuminating, this first group biography of the modern first ladies provides a revealing look at life upstairs and downstairs at the world’s most powerful address.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
★ 07/01/2016
Brower (The Residence) has written a sophisticated and intimate portrait of modern first ladies, from Jacqueline Kennedy through Michelle Obama in expertly balanced prose that is neither too impersonal nor too personal. Though Brower doesn't whitewash the different personalities of the women, she manages to find positives in even some of the more reputedly prickly characters. With a deft touch, the author moves from Kennedy's lifelong grief over her husband, John F. Kennedy's, assassination to the impact of Richard Nixon's scandal and resignation on his wife, Pat, to Betty Ford's addictions. Though attention is given to all of the women, there is perhaps a greater focus on Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Nixon, and Ford. This leads to the only negative point that can be made about the book, which is that there is a decidedly small amount of information on more recent first ladies, particularly Laura Bush. Brower writes with grace and ease and finely outlines the lives of these influential figures, providing deep insights into the experiences of each. VERDICT A must-have for every library, this account will entertain and enthrall readers of a wide variety of ages and interests.—Stacy Shaw, Orange, CA
USA Today
“Brower is a thorough researcher who weaves a highly readable story through original reporting and the thorough use of earlier memoirs and histories...a gossipy, but surprisingly deep, look at the women who help and sometimes overshadow their powerful husbands.”
The Washington Post
Praise for The Residence:”The tell-all The Residence, featuring intimate anecdotes collected from past and current White House staff members, is absolutely delicious.”
The Daily Beast
“A juicy new book. . . . A touching story.”
Judy Woodruff
“Superbly reported. . . . A fascinating backstage account of the world’s most famous residence.”
Douglas Brinkley
“One of those rare books that is both elegant portraiture and highly readable, important White House history. The anecdotes are fresh and the analysis cogent. The stories about Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton, and Obama are irresistible. Highly recommended!”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062439659
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/12/2016
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
5,629
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

Kate Andersen Brower spent four years covering the Obama White House for Bloomberg News and is a former CBS News staffer and Fox News producer. She lives outside Washington, D.C., with her husband and their two young children.

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First Women: The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Very insightful book.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Anonymous 8 months ago
The author repeats herself over and over. These women are devoted to their husbands and their families. They are their husband's fiercest protectors. They are part of an elite sorority.
Anonymous 9 months ago
I am not a big fan of how the topics jump Round. I am only on pie 50 and find I must go back a couple pages to get the train of thought .
Anonymous 10 months ago
Extremely boring book.Nothing in it that hasnt been said before. Jumped from one first lady to another. I wish I hadnt wasted my money on it
Anonymous 10 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DrDelilah More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We woman need more books to tell the things we go through Everything we do in life but men get more credit for things finally this book will show the essence of woman and what is lime to be first lady because every ine thinks presidentry is harder but being the firstlady is harder