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First Ladies: From Martha Washington to Michelle Obama
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First Ladies: From Martha Washington to Michelle Obama

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  45 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Betty Boyd Caroli's engrossing and informative First Ladies is both a captivating read and an essential resource for anyone interested in the role of America's First Ladies. This expanded and updated fourth edition includes Laura Bush's tenure, Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential bid, and an in-depth look at Michelle Obama, one of the most charismatic and appealing First L ...more
Paperback, 437 pages
Published July 15th 2010 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 2003)
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I never thought I would be this into a history book that didn't involve a heinous crime but holy cow did I enjoy this! I learned so much about the role of the first lady and what that entails, as well as the women who have held it. Some of their little known stories were deeply moving and inspiring, I can't wait to read more about them all!
For me this book was an interesting glimpse into the lives of American First Ladies. Not only did I enjoy reading about all of them, I also enjoyed learning about the evolution of the role and its place in establishing women's rights in the States. I do agree with another poster who indicated at times the book feels like a draft and is redundant or missing information. Still I am glad this one made my reading list!
The author clearly conducted in-depth research and brought together a huge store of facts to write this epic. Unfortunately, it contains all the hallmarks of a rough draft – an immense project that didn't get the final polish that makes a text digestible for its audience. I don't just mean typos, the structure of the writing is cumbersome and the chapter divisions are loosely assigned. Subsections would have helped immensely, especially to highlight when the author pitches in theories about soci ...more
In addition to providing interesting information about our First Ladies, this book was like looking backwards through a telescope at our nation's history. The roles of our first ladies changed as the culture, times and customs changed. As my life span has covered the time period from Eleanor Roosevelt through Michelle Obama I was surprised to recognize how much my life was affected by not so much the first ladies but by the prevailing customs of the times. I could see better how some of my value ...more
Maybe 3 1/2 stars. I thought this was interesting, but at times a bit dry & facts were repeated in different parts of the book. Learning about how the First Ladies really felt, through personal letters, etc. was most enjoyable. Kudos to the author for including source notes so the reader can learn more.

Note: My purchased version was a Kindle e-book. Listening to the accompanying audio helped out on this book.
An interesting look at the First Ladies themselves, and the historical trends that shaped the role of the First Lady. Unfortunately rather dry at times (the one thing a history book should NOT be!) and containing a startling number of typos and grammatical errors, especially for a book published by the Oxford University Press. Altogether an interesting read, but a tough slog at times.
great read for those wanting to know other details about the first ladies beside what they wore to their inaugural ball. the chapter on michelle obama was disappointing but i suspect it was because the book was reprinted/reedited only months after she came to the white house.
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