Synopses & Reviews
"Fascinating. . . . First Ladies is a wonderfully generous look at the women who, often against their wishes, took on what Truman calls 'the world's second toughest job.' "
--The Christian Science Monitor
Whether they envision their role as protector, partner, advisor, or scold, First Ladies find themselves in a job that is impossible to define, and just as difficult to perform. Now Margaret Truman, daughter of President Harry Truman and an acclaimed novelist and biographer in her own right, explores the fascinating position of First Lady throughout history and up to the present day.
With her unique perspective as the daughter of a First Lady, Ms. Truman reveals the truth behind some of the most misunderstood and forgotten First Ladies of our history, as well as the most famous and beloved. In recounting the charm and courage of Dolley Madison, the brazen ambition of Florence Harding, the calm, good sense of Grace Coolidge, the genius of Eleanor Roosevelt, the mysterious femininity of Jackie Kennedy, and the fierce protectiveness of Nancy Reagan, among others, Margaret Truman has assembled an honest yet affectionate portrait of our nation's First Ladies--one that freely acknowledges their virtues and their flaws.
"Harry Truman once remarked that someday someone should evaluate the true role played by the wife of a president in the burdens she had to bear and the contributions she made as the First Lady in the nation. That wish has now been fulfilled in admirable fashion by his First Daughter who is the author of bestselling separate biographies on her parents as well as a series of mystery novels dealing with Capital Crimes. Margaret fortunately knew a dozen First Ladies personally and engaged in historical research on the others. The net result is a fascinating book that well might become the highlight of her distinguished literary career." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)