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Madam President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  422 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Peek behind the scenes at Edith Wilson, the first woman president.
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published October 17th 2016 by Regnery History
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Average rating 3.51  · 
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Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a fascinating look at a First Lady few of us know much about. A well written book concerning a time in our country's history and the reign of Woodrow Wilson, who suffered a disabling stroke while President. Concealed to a great deal by history books and the media, Mrs. Wilson stepped up to the plate to fill in for her husband-- for the sake of his health, legacy, policies and to not further throw our country into even more chaos and upheaval at a critical time in our history. It is trul ...more
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
MADAM PRESIDENT by William Hazelgrove
I was disappointed. I was looking forward to this book having recently read another book that referred to Mrs. Wilson’s acting in the President’s stead.
The facts are all here but the writing is very pedestrian. It reads like a college student’s research paper. There is no attempt to construct a cohesive storyline. The chapters jump from Ellen (first wife) to Edith (second wife), from before World War I to during the war and other chronological leaps with no
Jul 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I read the Kindle version and gave this 3.5 stars.

Woodrow Wilson (WW) wed twice. Once as a widower
in the White House. Edith, his 2nd wife, had been
widowed by her spouse who owned a jewelry concern.
She made this business even more successful. She had
only 2 years of formal education but she possessed a
keen mind.

When President Wilson courted Edith, he freely discussed
Presidential quandaries and correspondence and even
taught her how to de-code secret messages he received.
His wanted to esta
Diane Stevens
May 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I received an Advance Uncorrected Proof Copy of the book Madam President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson in exchange for an honest review.

I totally enjoyed this book. The story here is both fascinating and entertaining from the opening Prologue onward. Through the intimacy of human details and the analytical lens of hindsight, Hazelgrove breathes life into the story of Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, First Lady (and perhaps, Acting President) from 1915 to 1921.

Well researched and deftly writte
Phyllis Krall
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
A this book unfolds, a secret is revealed about Edith Wilson, the wife of President Woodrow Wilson. When he had a debilitating stroke in 1919,she hid his illness from everyone except for a select few. The world never knew that Edith was making major presidential decisions for two years during tumultuous times. World War 1 was ending and she negotiated peace treaties as well as having an impact on helping women achieve the right to vote. Her strength and devotion to her husband never wavered.
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received a free ARC of this book for my honest review. William Hazelgrove's Madam President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson will have a definite value to those who enjoy early 20th century non-fiction and history as it effects United States politics leading up to and encompassing the country's involvement in World War I. The book touches upon a wide range of topics from woman's suffrage to Roosevelt's Rough Riders and although at times the jump from one event or group to another occurs ...more
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I was sent this eBook and in return was asked to write an honest review. Thank you.
A well-written, interesting book about a worthy subject. Edith Wilson was our de facto president, unbeknownst to most of the country. She kept her husband alive by shielding him from distress and made decisions for him concerning the government, politics, WWI and his overall health.
The author's narration going back and forth in time reveals the depth of President and Mrs. Wilson's relationship and how it was a na
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
For someone living outside the U.S. with no knowledge of any past American president this was a fascinating read. Not only does it outline how America came to be involved in the Great War, it tells us how a country was run throughout this crisis without alerting the public to how ill the man at the helm had become.

An in depth look at Woodrow Wilson's second wife and how she made sure nothing would endanger the health of her husband any further by doing everything in her power to run things behi
Oct 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a fascinating read. I am so happy I had the chance to review this book. This story is about Woodrow Wilson's second wife Edith Wilson and how she took the role or job of keeping the government running smoothly as possible after her president husband, Wilson, was incapacitated after his stroke. Basically behaving as the President. I loved the history of this book, the page turning quality this book had, and showing that the right woman can be in the role of presidency.
Read the rest of m
Mary Loveless
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was sent an ARC of this book. I love histories and biographies, and especially love biographies where the subject comes alive. This book does that. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and had a hard time putting it down. I didn't know the story of Woodrow Wilson's second marriage and his stroke while in office, and found the subject fascinating.

Thank you for the ARC, and I know I will be reading more of your works in the future.
Apr 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
I am honoured to be able to read an ARC copy of this book. :) It was an interesting book that told the story of how Edith Wilson was basically the president during the term of Woodrow Wilson, and all the things that she did to try and keep it a secret. Although, most of the world knew, there was nothing they could do to change it.
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Thank you William Hazelgrove for sharing an advanced copy of this amazing story. The events that occurred during the Presidency of Woodrow Wilson are unimaginable. Truly a well written historical novel that is well worth reading by all. It holds your interest throughout the book and goes into great depth about the lives of President Woodrow Wilson and his second wife Edith. Who knew?
Merry Miller moon
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Goodreads and thank you to the author, William Hazelgrove for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I have always loved history. I must admit before reading this book, I didn't know much about Woodrow or Edith Wilson. This book grabbed me from the very beginning and kept me engrossed throughout my read. That is a sign of a great book. WARNING! Possible Spoilers Ahead! Edith Wilson was Woodrow's second wife. His first wife had died from disease about a year befor ...more
Sep 14, 2016 rated it liked it
I received an advanced copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Well, this was fascinating! I feel like there's so much history we never get to hear or that eventually gets drowned out as time goes on. I had previously read a great biography about First Lady Nellie Taft (Nellie Taft: The Unconventional First Lady of the Ragtime Era, highly recommend it) and since then have been interested in reading more about first ladies, so I was excited to see this book. And, since
Chris Carson
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great story, little known, about his wife acting as President following the health crisis of President Wilson after an exhaustive attempt to secure the League of Nations. Edith did what any First Lady would have done, try to protect her husband, and ended up serving as President or co-President throughout Wilson's last two years. This is how history should be told, fast paced and interesting, it reads like a novel. ...more
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
The United States may be on the cusp of electing its first female President in this 2016 election, but author WILLIAM HAZELGROVE wants you to know that our first female President took power about 100 years ago, and ruled our country for more than a year.

Of course, he’s talking about Edith Bolling Wilson, the second wife of President Woodrow Wilson. It’s perhaps common knowledge that Wilson suffered a massive stroke in 1919 near the end of his second term rendering him a physical and at least par
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book quite fascinating. I had no idea that Edith Wilson was so involved with the presidency. I'm so glad I got to read this book and if you like history, then definitely pick this book up.

I want to thank the author William Elliott Hazelgrove for a copy of his book and allowing me to read an advanced copy.
N.N. Light
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating biography of one of my favorite First Ladies, Edith Wilson. Highly recommend!

My Rating: 5 stars
Gayle Pace
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
How did the country function without a Commander in Chief? President Wilson was left paralyzed October 2nd, 1919 from a stroke. In those days the only thing doctors knew to do was have the patient in total seclusion, total bed rest. His wife, First Lady Edith Wilson took on the job of practically running the country. She had a team from the different Department that she consulted with and the President was never bothered with any of the problems and solutions. She did it all, she kept
Debbi DuBose
Madam Presidnt: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson by William Hazelgrove is a fascinating, well-written, narrative non-fiction history. This is a time in American History that has been overlooked for far too long; and Hazelgrove seeks to correct this in his historical narrative.
Woodrow Wilson was an energetic 59 year old widower when he married the attractive 43 year old widow, Edith Galt, on December 8, 1915. They spent every minute of their days together working. Wilson taught Edith everyt
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
‘Do one thing every day that scares you’ – Eleanor Roosevelt

Chicago author William Hazelgrove has developed a significant following as the author of thirteen novels - Ripples, Tobacco Sticks, Mica Highways, Rocket Man, The Pitcher, Real Santa, Jack Pine, Hemingway’s Attic, My Best Year, The Bad Author, and now Madam President. While his books have received starred reviews in Publisher Weekly and Booklist, Book of the Month Selections, ALA Editors Choice Awards Junior Library Guild Selections and
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a fascinating recapitulation of what was a constitutional crisis that was present, thoroughly known and understood, yet avoided due to strength exhibited by some and weakness by others. It was of course a different time, when the press and Congress tended to defer more than they do now.
In the fall of 1919, President Woodrow Wilson suffered a severe stroke that largely rendered his left side paralyzed. His mental functions and physical stamina were also severely degraded so that in fac
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
The President has had a stroke. He is left paralyzed on his left side and can hardly speak. Should he resign? Should the Vice President take over temporarily? How will the government carry on?

This sounds like the plot of a good novel, but it really happened. William Hazelgrove, in his new book “Madam President,” he tells the story of President Woodrow Wilson and his wife Edith Bolling Wilson, and the way decisions are sometimes made by not making any. The story is related in alternating chapters
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! From the moment I opened it, William Hazelgrove had my attention. In fact, I called my Mom within minutes of starting to read it, just to find out how much she knew about Woodrow Wilson and his wives. I was dually impressed by both my mom for remembering what she learned in school over 60 years ago and for William for getting it right! I don't feel like this was taught when I went to school... and I really wish it had been. It is a great example of showing that people can do a ...more
Shelly Itkin
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most interesting and enjoyable books I have read in a long time and truly loved it.
When Edith Galt met President Woodrow Wilson she never expected to marry him. Both of them had lost there spouses and the President had lost his less then a year ago. They felt especially Dr. Grayson, that President Wilson needed a wife and also a stable life since his wife had passed away although he did have two daughters. They enjoyed each others company, had dinners together wrote love lette
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Hazelgrove writes about the real "first" female president which is quite appropriate for a time during an election where the first woman could possibly be chosen officially as the leader of our country. However, she is not the first woman "president." As per his usual, Hazelgrove weaves a story that draws you into a world in which Edith Bolling Wilson stepped in for her desperately ill and extremely damaged husband, Woodrow Wilson, after he suffered a debilitating stroke. She secretly ran the co ...more
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Painful at times. Redundant- disjointed- and dare I say ridiculous.

You cannot say (20 times at least) you were the “first female President” when you deceived and lied to a sitting President (about his mental state) , his cabinet, a country and the world. You unlawfully made decisions along side his physician. Ugh. You were power hungry and did it under the guise of ‘aiding your husband’.
Historically interesting but drones on and on last 1/3 of the book.

Julie Alagna
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
Ugh another one I had high hopes for and that ended up disappointing. The title is so misleading. For every sentence about Edith there were at least 20 about Woodrow. This is supposed to be a book about her and not him. Will need to find another book on this subject with a better author. It felt very pedestrian - as if written in his high school days. Also didn’t like how the chapters jumped around in time (very unnecessary).
Kat Dixon
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Writing is weak, but content is fascinating.
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it
The subject matter of Edith Wilson taking charge during President Wilson's year long health crisis is fascinating, but this book does not measure up to a great read. A historian in our book club pointed out there were a number of inaccurate historical dates and details. Virtually, all in the book club found the non chronological chapters confusing and were regularly checking back to previous chapters.

Edith has many admirable qualities (intelligent, accomplished, and loyal to her husband) but co
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“She married a president who had been recently widowed. In four years, the president would have a severe stroke and leave her to run the United States government and negotiate the end of World War I. She was our first woman president.” 1 likes
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