THE WOMAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE by Marianne Means

THE WOMAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The author, White House correspondent for Hearst, here makes her bow to twelve First Ladies, who brought various attributes and made varied contributions to their role. We meet Martha Washington, the first First Lady at fifty-eight, decorous and agreeable; Abigail Adams, her husband's intellectual equal and help-meet; Dolly Madison, the Quaker girl who became Washington's grande dame and great hostess; Sarah Polk, who was private secretary to her husband; Mary Todd Lincoln, tormented if devoted child-wife; Helen Herron Taft, who planted the cherry trees; Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, who acted as substitute president during her husband's illness; Florence Kling Harding, who with Daugherty made her husband president; Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, full partner and ""The First Lady of the World""; Elizabeth Wallace Truman, Mary Geneva Doud Eisenhower, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. Ex-presidents Truman and Eisenhower and President Kennedy gave interviews to honor their spouses and tell their concept of the first ladyship. While giving some sense of the period and of the press of national as well as personal history in each case, these vary in tone from adulatory to derogatory, and are only sporadically effective.

Publisher: Random House