All the Presidents' Ladies

Peter Hay, Author Viking Books $19.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-670-81395-7
In this gathering of anecdotes about presidential wives and other females at home in the White House, many sources have been visited: recorded gossip, entertaining even when malicious; verbal snapshots from close observers; and personal reminiscences of family, foes and friends. One of the most poignant expressions is Jacqueline Kennedy's memorial on the first anniversary of her husband's assassination, `` . . . he died then, never knowing disillusionment.'' Among the women who left an imprint on the White House in earlier administrations, Sarah Polk is celebrated for intellectual endowment and was probably the only first lady to serve as her husband's secretary. Forthright comments from Martha Washington and Helen Taft shed light on the administrations of their husbands. Hay, professor of drama at the University of California, offers colorful footnotes to the main events of the American presidency. (August)
Reviewed on: 08/05/1988
Release date: 08/01/1988
Paperback - 16 pages - 978-0-14-009755-9
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