Review by Booklist Review
Gr. 6^-10. From Martha Washington to Hillary Rodham Clinton, with a foreword by Clinton herself, The Smithsonian Book of the First Ladies briefly examines the lives of each woman who has occupied the White House by the side of the president. Three-to four-page biographies, with accompanying photos or illustrations, focus on each woman's significant life events, particularly as they related to the presidency. Although these biographies are fairly traditional in nature, Mayo, curator of the Smithsonian First Ladies exhibit, does not shirk mention of controversies, such as FDR's love affairs or Betty Ford's alcoholism. Interspersed within the biographies are brief vignettes on such topics as temperance, suffrage, campaigning, and education, all as they relate to women. Complete with bibliography and index, this collective biography will support initial, cursory research into the women of the White House. --Frances Bradburn
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
With a foreword by Hillary Rodham Clinton, The Smithsonian Book of the First Ladies: Their Lives, Times, and Issues, edited by Edith P. Mayo, presents highlights from the lives of all 43 First Ladies, including the strict Sarah Polk, who allowed no dancing in the White House, to Lucy Hays, who held firm in her belief that even Presidential wives should not try to influence their husbands' politics. This handsome, well-researched volume includes 127 photographs and paintings, as well as 11 entries on such related subjects as "Where Does the Term `First Lady' Come From?" and "How Have First Ladies Contributed to Campaigning?" (Holt, $24.95 ISBN 0-8050-1751-8, Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 6 UpFirst ladies from Martha Washington through Hillary Rodham Clinton are presented chronologically in biographical sketches ranging from 2 to 10 pages. Short profiles (sometimes only a paragraph) of several presidential wives who did not serve as first ladies are also included. Although the standard details are included, there is much surprising information, as the editor did not sugarcoat the difficulties some of these women endured. Not without errors (Mary Todd Lincoln was not born in the capital of Kentucky), this book is still exceptional for its scope. Interspersed with the biographical profiles are questions that address such topics such as why so many children had such short lives, the role women played in the temperance movement, why it was difficult for women to get an education, etc. The answers are superb. Reconstruction, the plight of Native Americans, and the struggle of immigrants are also explained. Mayo's remarkable achievement is explaining in a most understandable way how the social structures of the time affected the first ladies and how the most determined and gifted women challenged and changed them. Nicely illustrated with full-color and black-and-white photos, indexed, and possessing an extensive bibliography, this is the definitive choice for young readers or even adults who want a quick, lively, unique study. An essential update for all collections.Cindy Darling Codell, Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
Foreword by Hillary Rodham Clinton. In addition to the brief, well-written portrait of each woman, the book provides an in-depth look at various aspects of American women's lives, from what it meant to be a presidential hostess to how and why women fought against slavery. Accompanied by black-and-white and color reproductions, this handsome book will help improve the visibility of women in the country's political life and history. Bib., ind. From HORN BOOK 1996, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.