Melania and Michelle: First Ladies in a New Era

Melania and Michelle: First Ladies in a New Era

by Tammy R. Vigil


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At home or at the podium, the First Lady is uniquely poised to serve as advisor, confidant, and campaigner, with the power to shape American political and social conversation. At first blush, First Ladies Michelle Obama and Melania Trump appear categorically different from each other; however, as women rising from humble origins to pursue their ambitions and support their husbands, the two have more in common than one might think.

In Melania & Michelle: First Ladies in a New Era , author Tammy R. Vigil provides a compelling account of our modern first ladies, exploring how each woman has crafted her public image and used her platform to influence the country, while also serving as a paragon of fashion and American womanhood. Both women face constant scrutiny and comparison—from their degrees of political activism to their cookie recipes—and have garnered support as well as criticism. From their full lives pre-nomination to their attitudes while occupying the White House, Vigil builds careful and thoughtful portraits of Melania Trump and Michelle Obama that provide a new appreciation for how these women, and the first ladies that came before them, have shaped our country.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781684351015
Publisher: Red Lightning Books
Publication date: 09/01/2019
Pages: 184
Sales rank: 279,449
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Tammy R. Vigil’s recent books include Moms in Chief and Connecting with Constituents. She has also published articles or chapters on rhetoric by Michelle Obama, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and George W. Bush; the history of nominating conventions; and convention speeches by presidential nominees’ spouses. Dr. Vigil is Associate Professor of Communication at Boston University and studies political campaign rhetoric and women as political communicators. She formerly served as associate dean of the College of Communication at Boston University and is a past winner of the Wrange-Baskerville award given by the Public Address Division of the National Communication Association.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Comparing First Ladies

1. Auditioning for First Lady: Their Debut Presidential Campaigns

2. The Transition to the White House: Becoming First Lady

3. Forging Their Own Paths: Michelle and Melania as First Ladies

4. Can’t Please Everyone: Managing Criticism and Scandal

5. Presidential Election, Round Two: Campaigning as First Lady

Afterword: Contrasting Michelle Obama and Melania Trump


Selected Bibliography


What People are Saying About This

Jenni Simon

Vigil meticulously explores the Office of the First Lady through an analysis of two very different women who came in to the office under two very different circumstances. This book points to the realities of the Office and the stress of constant criticism and appraisal our first ladies endure as a means of understanding how both Michelle and Melania—First Ladies in their own right—manage(d) the office to the best of their abilities. 

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