Presidential Wives

Paul F. Boller, JR., Author Oxford University Press, USA $27.5 (544p) ISBN 978-0-19-503763-0
Completing a trilogy that includes Presidential Anecdotes and Presidential Campaigns, Boller ""looks to the ladies'' in entertaining stories and vignettes of presidents' wives from Martha Washington to Nancy Reagan. Each First Lady is accorded a thoughtful essay that fixes the historical moment of her residency in the White House; the accompanying anecdotes illuminate her special relationship to the country as well as her husband. We hear of Jefferson's profound grief on Martha's death, which put him ``in a stupor of mind''; of Dolley Madison's unfortunate propensity to snuff-taking; of Teddy Roosevelt's wife, who thought he was ``just the biggest of her children.'' Tales about presidential wives prior to the 20th century are not abundant because, as Boller points out, many were practically ``invisible women,'' exerting their influence in the recesses of the White House by coping with husband and children. For the more public First Ladies of recent times, the author provides some fresh, even amusing, anecdotes in this lively popular history. 30,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; author tour. (April)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 544 pages - 978-0-19-505976-2
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