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Hidden Power: Presidential Marriages That Shaped Our Recent History

by Marton, Kati Bush, George W.

  • ISBN: 9780375401060
  • ISBN10: 0375401067

Hidden Power: Presidential Marriages That Shaped Our Recent History

by Marton, Kati Bush, George W.

  • List Price: $25.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Pantheon Books
  • Publish date: 09/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780375401060
  • ISBN10: 0375401067
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Description: Hidden Power is made up of dual portraits of selected twentieth-century presidents and their wives -- and of our most recent first couple -- at the precarious intersection of power, love and marriage. Based on extensive interviews with the participants and eyewitnesses to presidential events, this book probes how presidential marriages have affected the tone, character and even the policies of eleven administrations. Each of the compelling partnerships described in this book, from Woodrow and Edith Wilson to George W. and Laura Bush, has something to teach us about power and marriage and the evolving role of women in society. Hidden Power amply demonstrates that Bill and Hillary Clinton were not the only presidential couple who blended the political and the personal in their marriage. In fact, the intense mingling of the public and private has been more the rule than the exception among presidential couples. Hidden Power explores how both the personal life and public face of White House marriages shape presidential history.

It is not just those most visible (and controversial) first ladies, Eleanor Roosevelt, Nancy Reagan, and Hillary Rodham Clinton, who played an important role in the policies of their husbands' presidencies. Even many of the less celebrated, like Bess Truman and Betty Ford, have had a vital, hitherto underestimated role in the full story of their husbands' careers. Too often we have seen them through a prism that oversimplifies the complexity of their roles. Eleanor Roosevelt may cast a shadow over her successors, but her marriage was dysfunctional. Bess Truman and Jacqueline Kennedy played more substantial roles in their husbands' administrations than is usuallyrecognized. Nancy Reagan's image as couture obsessed would-be royalty obscured her generally constructive role in the Reagan presidency. Barbara Bush's chosen image of herself as a mild, white-haired grandmother was deceptive; a sharper politician than her husband, she was his tart-tongued sounding board and his first line of defense in private and public.

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