OVERRIDE

Public Affairs
Hardcover $28.99
First Ladies
Presidential Historians on the Lives of 45 Iconic American Women

Summary

A look inside the personal life of every first lady in American history, based on original interviews with major historians

C-SPAN's yearlong history series, First Ladies: Influence and Image, featured interviews with more than fifty preeminent historians and biographers. In this informative book, these experts paint intimate portraits of all forty-five first ladies—their lives, ambitions, and unique partnerships with their presidential spouses. Susan Swain and the C-SPAN team elicit the details that made these women who they were: how Martha Washington intentionally set the standards followed by first ladies for the next century; how Edith Wilson was complicit in the cover-up when President Wilson became incapacitated after a stroke; and how Mamie Eisenhower used the new medium of television to reinforce her, and her husband's, positive public images.

This book provides an up-close historical look at these fascinating women who survived the scrutiny of the White House, sometimes at great personal cost, while supporting their families and famous husbands—and sometimes changing history. Complete with illustrations and essential biographical details, it is an illuminating, entertaining, and ultimately inspiring read.

about Susan Swain, C-SPAN

  • Susan Swain was the moderator for C-SPAN's special yearlong history series, First Ladies: Influence and Image. Swain is C-SPAN's co-CEO and, in addition to her senior management role at the network, has been an on-camera host for C-SPAN for more than thirty years, interviewing public officials, historians, and journalists for the public affairs network. This is her ninth book project with C-SPAN and PublicAffairs. She lives in the Washington, DC, suburbs.

    For more information, visit firstladies.c-span.org or @FirstLadies on Twitter
  • Brian Lamb is C-SPAN's founding CEO and chairman and longtime on-camera interviewer. Lamb lives in Arlington, Virginia.

    Susan Swain is President & co-Chief Operating Officer of C-SPAN. For more than twenty-five years, she has been an on-air interviewer for the program. A regular moderator of Washington Journal, she's interviewed hundreds of members of Congress, policy experts, journalists and several presidents. She lives in Northern Virginia.

    Mark Farkas has been involved in C-SPAN feature productions for a quarter-century. In addition to his projects on the U.S. Capitol and the White House, Farkas was executive producer for C-SPAN's 1999-2000 Peabody Award winning series "American Presidents: Life Portraits;" the 1998 "Alexis deTocqueville Tour," and 1994's "Lincoln-Douglas Debates."


reviews

"A wonderful read for anyone who loves American history, and especially the genuinely 'inside story' of the various presidencies."–Hugh Hewitt

“This chronological account engages pairs of historians--including the exceptional Carl Sferrazza Anthony--in discussing the personality, marriage, passions, and legacy of each first lady, resulting in a fluid, conversational style...This accessible account replaces stodgy depictions of stuffy, untouchable first ladies with the relatable, often tragic stories of the determined women who made it up as they went along, to the benefit of their husbands and country.”–Publishers Weekly

"An appropriate and valuable examination of the lives and roles played by the 45 women most closely identified with the U.S. presidency…In this time when the role of all women in our society is undergoing a long-overdue sea change, the collection is especially valuable as an illustration of how these women adapted to, and contributed to, the presidents whose lives they shared."–The Washington Times

“The book is a budding history buff's dream (and will likely make its readers the star of good party conversation at Mother's Day brunch).”–The Hill

other editions

  • Hardcover | ISBN 9781610395663
    Pub date: 04/14/2015 | Price: $28.99 / 36.50 Canada
    Publisher: PublicAffairs
    6.500 x 9.625 | 496 Pages
    BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Women
    HISTORY / United States / General
    POLITICAL SCIENCE / American Government / Executive Branch
  • Paperback | ISBN 9781610397179
    Pub date: 10/04/2016 | Price: $17.99 / 23.50 Canada
    Publisher: PublicAffairs
    5.500 x 8.250 | 496 Pages
    BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Women
    HISTORY / United States / General
    POLITICAL SCIENCE / American Government / Executive Branch
  • eBook | ISBN 9781610395670
    Pub date: 04/14/2015 | Price: $11.99 / 14.99 Canada
    Publisher: PublicAffairs
    496 Pages
    BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Women
    HISTORY / United States / General
    POLITICAL SCIENCE / American Government / Executive Branch