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First Ladies

First Ladies Cover

First Ladies

Presidential Historians on the Lives of 45 Iconic American Women

By Susan Swain; C-Span; Richard Norton Smith (Foreword by)

PublicAffairs, Paperback, 9781610397179, 496pp.

Publication Date: October 4, 2016

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Description
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 the Author
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
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