Loved all the behind the scenes info. Mar 07, Barb Dempsey rated it really liked it. Common themes in this book were the egotistical, domineering president i. Johnson and Nixon and his long-suffering First Lady, or the sometimes bumbling charmer i.
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Reagan and Clinton and their take charge wives. Kati Marton collected an incredible amount of information.
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Much of it was collected from the observations of the people surrounding the first couples. I don't know what is true and what isn't, but it sure was interesting. I'm glad I read it! Aug 16, Shannon rated it liked it. This book was really interesting. Yep that's my entire review. Sorry, it's been a little while since I actually started it. Beginning with Woodrow Wilson, Marton depicts the relationship between the president and his first lady in honest and compelling words.
She is careful about being unbiased politically but does not mince words when confronting a difficult and strained marriage a la Mr. Each vignette was long enough to get a fairly detailed look into each marriage without b This book was really interesting. Each vignette was long enough to get a fairly detailed look into each marriage without becoming long-winded. Sometimes, the presidents almost played a backseat role in the narrative - especially when it was revealed how powerful their wives really were. When Woodrow Wilson became devastatingly ill and incapacitated, Edith Wilson resolved to save his presidency at any cost and became the behind-the-scenes mastermind while he recovered.
It was very interesting how much the media played a part in the book and in shaping each presidency. Wilson would never have been able to cover-up her husband's inability to lead in Franklin Roosevelt and Jack Kennedy would never have been able to hide their infidelity from the prying eyes of today's bloggers and reporters. The book was a true testament to how much power and influence some of the relatively quiet and nondescript first ladies in recent history have had on their husbands, and in turn, the world.
I even found myself interested to read the piece on George and Laura Bush - a testament to Marton's ability as an author as you all know how I feel about that presidency. During the long homeward journey Edith made up her mind. She could not altogether disregard the public role of first lady, but she certainly tried. She even got rid of her Secret Service detail, though she accepted the services of a seventy-five-year-old driver. When one of a score of frustrated reporters assigned to cover the new first lady submitted the question "What will Mrs.
Truman wear to the tea for the United Council of Church Women? Truman, how are we ever going to get to know you? Bush SR never quite managed to define what he stood for. When he made another run for the Senate in , he gave as his reason "upward mobility. There was a hustle-for-the-sake-of-hustle feeling about the man, an absence of thoughtfulness.
The throwaway grace with which he led at Andover and Yale did not thrive in Texas. His mother had done too good a job scrubbing him clean of the magnetic force called self that a politician must summon to fill the room. Feb 24, Lisa rated it really liked it Shelves: At this writing February , we know almost nothing about the spouses and marriage relationships of the presidential front-runners except Hillary and Bill Clinton , and this book makes me think we should know more.
The book enlightens a timely subject: Marton is a fine writer and researcher. She starts with the Wilsons, then the F. Bushes, Reagans, Clintons, and G. Bushes she leaves out the Eisenhowers on purpose. There has been so much written about the Kennedys that this book couldn't begin to cover the ground. And so much has happened with the Clintons since his presidency ended that this book seems incomplete, although the author clearly tried to stop when the presidency ended for each couple, so it would have lacked balance if Marton had gone on about the Clintons.
The book was insightful for me concerning lesser-known First Ladies and how they wielded power without overstepping what Americans consider the First Lady role, and how that role has and hasn't changed. I was also interested in unacknowledged contributions by some women, such as Nancy Reagan's update and restoration of the White House--similar in some ways to Jacqueline Kennedy's contribution, but this is the first I've heard of it.
A worthwhile read in this election year. Sep 19, Leslie Goddard rated it liked it. The great strength of this book is Marton's writing style, which is engaging and entertaining.
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Unlike a lot of biographers, she doesn't get too bogged down in unnecessary details. For someone knew to the stories of presidential spouses, this would be a fun, easy read. As someone who has read a lot about First Ladies, though, this book was mostly just repetition with little new insight or analysis. Lots of little errors lost credibility for me e. I'm unconvinced that Woodrow and Edith Wilson were the greatest love story in the history of the presidency, as Marton claims seriously?
More than John and Abigail Adams? More than Ronald and Nancy Reagan?
I can think of many deeper, more solidly founded presidential love stories than the Wilsons'. The book doesn't really explore how presidential marriages "shaped our history" or how presidential spouses wielded hidden power. Mar 28, Sidna rated it liked it. I read this book for a book discussion group and it did lead to an interesting discussion.
The book was well written, but the author clearly had a political bias which came through in her discriptions of the various presidents and their wives and by the information about each presidential couple that she chose to include and what she chose to omit. Even though the book begins with President Woodrow Wilson, Marton purposely chose not to include the Eisenhowers because they weren't interesting enou I read this book for a book discussion group and it did lead to an interesting discussion.
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Even though the book begins with President Woodrow Wilson, Marton purposely chose not to include the Eisenhowers because they weren't interesting enough. My husband happens to be reading a book about Eisenhower. Even though we remember Eisenhower's presidency clearly, my husband is amazed at how much he is learning about Eisenhower that he did not already know.
Although I did not agree with many of Marton's assessments of various presidencies, I plan to recommend this book for another discussion group for next year.
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Nov 09, Marie rated it really liked it. I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this book. It ended up being a pretty quick read for me. I finished it in less than a week.
It was so fascinating to read about the relationships between so many presidents and their wives in the last century, and how their relationships were strengthened or weakened by their husband's desire to reach the oval office. With photographs, inspiring quotes, and excerpts from five historic speeches, this gorgeous volume pays tribute to Michelle Obama. A stunning, visual biography of Michelle Obama that finally puts her phenomenal fame into a cultural and historical context we can all understand.
In this tender, beautiful letter to his daughters, President Barack Obama has written a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation. As the world now knows, Barack Obama has made history as our first African American president.
Born into a close knit family in Chicago, Michelle Robinson was a star student who graduated from Princeton and Harvard Law. Then in , she married another promising young lawyer and the rest, as they say, is history. In this refreshingly honest memoir, Litt brings us inside Obamaworld. He answers questions you never knew you had: What do you do when the commander in chief gets your name wrong?
Where should you never, under any circumstances, change clothes on Air Force One? With nearly a decade of stories to tell, Litt makes clear that politics is completely, hopelessly absurd. Here Alyssa shares the strategies that made her successful in politics and beyond, including the importance of confidence, the value of not being a jerk, and why ultimately everything comes down to hard work and always carrying a spare tampon.
Taking a chance on an unlikely candidate for the U. Senate, Axelrod ultimately collaborated closely Obama on his political campaigns, and served as the invaluable strategist who contributed to the tremendous victories in and Switching careers again, Axelrod served as senior adviser to the president during one of the most challenging periods in national history: Apple Audible downpour eMusic audiobooks. Add to Cart Add to Cart. Inspired by Your Browsing History.
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