Read Presidential Wives: An Anecdotal History by Paul F. Boller Jr. Online

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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 biographicalIn 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 essay followed by a selection of revealing anecdotes. Through his portrayal of such a diverse group of women, Boller sheds new light on how much the institution of the presidency tells us about ourselves and our life as a nation. First published in 1988, this second edition has been revised to include updated information on people such as Nancy Reagan and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, a new preface, and new chapters devoted to Barbara Bush and Hillary Rodham Clinton....

Title : Presidential Wives: An Anecdotal History
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780195121421
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 576 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Presidential Wives: An Anecdotal History Reviews

  • Jimyanni
    2019-01-24 23:26

    This was an entertaining and informative book, giving the reader a quick look at the wives of all of the presidents up through Ronald Reagan. Note that it very specifically is biographies of "presidential wives", NOT "first ladies"; it includes bios even of those women who had been wives of presidents who had died before their husbands became president. (Interestingly, it does NOT have a bio of Jane Wyman, Ronald Reagan's first wife. Perhaps this is because their marriage ended in divorce, rather than death.) But it includes Martha Jefferson, Alice Roosevelt and Ellen Wilson.The bios, although generally fairly short, give an interesting glance at many women who little is generally known about -- some of them, their husbands are barely remembered by the vast majority of the populace -- and I would definitely consider this a worthwhile read for anyone with even a trace of curiosity about the subject.

  • Marguerite
    2019-02-09 18:03

    Great reference book. Recommend.

  • Sarai
    2019-01-29 19:25

    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 available, pictures of the wives around the time they met their husbands, and around the time their husbands were president. After reading some of the descriptions, I was desperate to see an image of some of the women.A nice read where you can do a chapter and then put it down for later. Lots of facts I had never heard before. Publication Date: February 25, 1999 | ISBN-10: 0195121422 | ISBN-13: 978-0195121421 | Edition: RevisedIn 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 essay followed by a selection of revealing anecdotes. Through his portrayal of such a diverse group of women, Boller sheds new light on how much the institution of the presidency tells us about ourselves and our life as a nation.First published in 1988, this second edition has been revised to include updated information on people such as Nancy Reagan and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, a new preface, and new chapters devoted to Barbara Bush and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

  • Shawn Thrasher
    2019-02-14 22:14

    A friend borrowed my copy of this book about 15 years ago, and he's still borrowing it. I found this particular copy in a Friends of the Library used book sale, and snatched it up for a buck. I'm a sort of First Lady-aphile; I love First Lady stories and histories. Although this one is not as good as Carl Sferrazza Anthony's well written and well researched books on the same subjects, this is an easy and fun place to start in boning up on First Lady histories. Boller does a great job of bringing out something unique and interesting about each Lady, even some of the more obscure ones. I definitely have my favorite first ladies; I hope by the time you are done with this book, you will too.

  • Chip Supanich
    2019-01-24 20:57

    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. It was also depressing to read about the number of vivacious, educated and worldly women who did nothing with their lives in obedience to their "man" and to the social and cultural norms of their times. And up until Truman, most were little more that glorified baby makers. Skip this one.

  • Linda
    2019-01-30 20:19

    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 was a part time hostess for Thomas Jefferson during his eight years of presidency and her husband James Maidson two terms.

  • Elyse
    2019-01-18 17:13

    I found this book a refreshing break from my presidential biography reading project. (I'm in the middle of a detailed history of Franklin Pierce so I haven't gotten far yet.) Rather than picking apart the politics of each president, this book highlights the personal life of the White House inhabitants. Yes, most of the First Ladies were "helpers" rather than unpaid presidential policy advisors but that role is a recent development. The earlier First Ladies shouldn't be expected to live up to today's standards.

  • Vivian Valvano
    2019-01-26 15:05

    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 example, are peerless.) The portions of this book were in no way useful to me.

  • Lauren
    2019-01-21 17:27

    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 a marriage partnership should work (or not in some cases).

  • Dr.J.G.
    2019-02-12 16:14

    One rarely thinks of them as anything but shadowy figures and yet they were persons, with minds and personalities, each and all. Few are known independantly with the exceptions of Eleanor Roosevelt who played her husband's ear and ambassador on many occasions in places in or out of US, and of course Jacqueline Kennedy who brought style to white house so much so French were charmed with her. This book tell about them and others.

  • Amy
    2019-01-23 17:03

    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.

  • Michaela
    2019-01-25 20:11

    Usually books like this have the potential to bore me, but this one did not. It was interesting learning about the presidents' wives in this format. Throughout the book I gained respect for some wives and lost respect for others. Dolley Madison and Eleanor Roosevelt are my personal favorites. Many of the other wives pale in comparison to Madison and Roosevelt.

  • Marie
    2019-01-21 17:24

    Lost then picked up again, this is a book you don't have to restart. My edition only went through Nancy Reagan, but I'd love to read new chapters in a more recent edition. Anecdotes really made these ladies seem more real and are carefully selected to show you another side of these famous women.

  • P N
    2019-01-28 17:59

    The book was written in the 1980's and ends with Nancy Reagan. It feels a bit dated in places, but appears to be well researched and documented. It was great to learn some basic information about each of the First Ladies since the majority of them have been mostly ignored by historians.

  • Cathi
    2019-01-20 20:57

    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.

  • T.E.
    2019-01-23 21:06

    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.

  • Adrian Jackson
    2019-02-07 21:59

    It took me many years, but I finally finished! This isn't a book you can curl up with, but it is readable and interesting.

  • Kathy
    2019-01-25 16:15

    Enjoy presidential trivia.

  • Ginna
    2019-02-07 15:05

    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.

  • Nicole
    2019-02-18 18:05

    Funny and fascinating.

  • Jenben8426
    2019-02-15 17:13

    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.