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.