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Presidential Wives: An Anecdotal History
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Presidential Wives: An Anecdotal History

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  69 ratings  ·  12 reviews
In Presidential Wives, Paul Boller brings his gift for telling detail to bear on the women our Presidents married, and the result is a biographical feat--at once funny and poignant, dramatic and illuminating, covering every First Lady from Martha Washington to Hillary Rodham Clinton. Boller devotes a full chapter to each of his subjects, featuring an incisive biographical...more
Paperback, 576 pages
Published February 25th 1999 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1988)
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I found this book to be very interesting. It went into detail about each of the presidential wives, even if they were not alive during their husband's presidential terms. Some had scant information, but many had lots of stories and anecdotes.

I have two comments to make: 1) the book needs to be updated - it ends with Hilary Clinton; 2) there should be photos included. Obviously, they would have to be photos of paintings for the women further back, but it would have been so nice to see, where ava...more
Chip Supanich
A piece of tripe. I usually read about presidents, but picked this up for light reading at a used book store for next to nothing, which is what it is worth. Other than learning their names, I found this to be a sugar coated, Sunday best, pack of crap. It gave the blandest accounts and always erred on the side of conservativeness and propriety. I want to know the dirt and have learned the dirt by reading the accounts of their husbands' lives. The descriptions were consistently dry and lackluster....more
Not so good as Presidential Anecdotes because there is, of course, much less material on some of these people, but quite a thumping read nonetheless. Made me realize how much I dislike JFK.
One of my retirement goals is to read the American History through the president's wives story. This book provied a great overview of each of the presidents wives Martha Washington through Nancy Reagan.

A few interesting trivia highlights:

Abaigal Adams (1744 - 1818) started the annual Easter Egg Roll party. I had no idea the event started so early in American's history.

Abigail Fillmore (1799 - 1853) started the White House Library.

Dolly Madison (1768 - 1830) First Lady for a half- century. She...more
Vivian Valvano
1. Boring - for each wife that I read about, there was either nothing new/nothing that I didn't know before - or nothing that interested me.
2. Very poorly written.
I didn't read every entry. We're doing it for LIT book group, and we agreed to read a sampling. I advise anyone interested in reading about any presidential wife whom one thinks is worth reading about to read solid historical biographies, autobiographies or memoirs, or collected letters. (The letters of Abigail and John Adams, for exa...more
This book is "an anecdotal history" of the wives of the US Presidents up to Nancy Reagan. Some women loved the lime-light, some hated it. Some pushed their husbands into the presidency, some didn't want them in politics at all. Some expected life in the White House to be like living in a palace, while others wanted to be as simple as living in a regular house. The most interesting thing I got from this book is how the various couples worked together and helped each other. Great insight into how...more
I read the first edition of this book. It is the first of this sort that I am reading. I really enjoyed it.
A great majority of the book is taken from letters, personal accounts and journal entries. Each first lady gets a chapter. There are first ladies that I admire and others that I do not. This book has turned my thoughts to the history of politics in our country.

A truly facinating read. What a great find. It is a book to buy.
I loved this book! It was fun to read all sorts of little quirky anecdotes about the First Ladies, and the general life stories of each woman and her husband were fascinating. I expecially enjoyed learning more about our less-famous First Ladies.
The writer has done an excellent job in creating quick easy to read biographies of each of the Presidents wives. I really enjoyed learning about each of the personalities of the First Ladies.
This book was ok, the first ladies did tend to run together and I did skip some of the lesser known ones. I did like reading about Dolly Madison and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Funny and fascinating.
Enjoy presidential trivia.
Kimberly McDole
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