First Lady: A Portrait of Nancy Reagan

Chris Wallace, Other St. Martin's Press $22.5 (166p) ISBN 978-0-312-29243-0
These interviews were conducted by NBC reporters and White House correspondent Wallace for a TV documentary on Nancy Reagan. Here, among more than 150 photos (100 in color), are the words of the First Lady and the President, their (controversial) friend Michael Deaver, their children and others. The comments are almost monolithically praising, although Betty Friedan criticizes the First Lady for not speaking out for women's rights. Among the information offered: Nancy Reagan's life revolves around her husband; she probably hasn't had substantive influence on policy; ""she's very level-headed, she's very sincere, she's very down to earth''; she is ``a vulnerable, sweet little person.'' Many of the remarks are tediously repetitive, but some prove entertaining: William F. Buckley Jr. notes that the Reagans ``grew up in their early married life fighting Communists in Hollywood''; Letitia Baldridge observes that first ladies are inevitably changed by the job``Just think of all the newspapers they suddenly start to read.'' 100,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild alternate. (October 31)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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