First Women: The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies (Paperback)
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the groundbreaking backstairs look at the White House, The Residence, comes an intimate, news-making look at the true modern power brokers at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: the First Ladies, from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama and Melania Trump.
One of the most underestimated—and challenging—positions in the world, the First Lady of the United States must be many things: an inspiring leader with a forward-thinking agenda of her own; a savvy politician, skilled at navigating the treacherous rapids of Washington; a wife and mother operating under constant scrutiny; and an able CEO responsible for the smooth operation of countless services and special events at the White House. Now, as she did in her smash #1 bestseller The Residence, former White House correspondent Kate Andersen Brower draws on a wide array of untapped, candid sources—from residence staff and social secretaries to friends and political advisers—to tell the stories of the ten remarkable women who have defined that role since 1960.
Brower offers new insights into this privileged group of remarkable women, including Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Patricia Nixon, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama. The stories she shares range from the heartwarming to the shocking and tragic, exploring everything from the first ladies’ political crusades to their rivalries with Washington figures; from their friendships with other first ladies to their public and private relationships with their husbands. She also offers insight as to what Melania Trump might hope to accomplish as First Lady.
Candid and illuminating, this first group biography of the modern first ladies provides a revealing look at life upstairs and downstairs at the world’s most powerful address.
About the Author
Kate Andersen Brower is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Residence and New York Times bestseller First Women. She is a CNN contributor and has spent four years covering the Obama White House for Bloomberg News and is a former CBS News staffer and Fox News producer. She has written for the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Time, the Washington Post, and Bloomberg Businessweek. She lives outside of Washington, D.C., with her husband, their three young children, and their wheaten terrier.
“[A] gossipy, but surprisingly deep, look at the women who help and sometimes overshadow their powerful husbands.”
— USA Today
Praise for The Residence:”The tell-all The Residence, featuring intimate anecdotes collected from past and current White House staff members, is absolutely delicious.”
— The Washington Post
“A juicy new book. . . . A touching story.”
— The Daily Beast
“A highly readable . . . deep look at the women who help and sometimes overshadow their powerful husbands.”
— USA Today
“A revealing look at America’s first ladies, shining a spotlight on both their friendships and feuds.”
— The Today Show
“Superbly reported. . . . A fascinating backstage account of the world’s most famous residence.”
— Judy Woodruff, anchor, PBS NewsHour and former White House Correspondent for NBC News
“One of those rare books that is both elegant portraiture and highly readable, important White House history. The anecdotes are fresh and the analysis cogent. The stories about Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton, and Obama are irresistible. Highly recommended!”
— Douglas Brinkley, editor of The Reagan Diaries