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Review: First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies by Kate Anderson Brower

The First Family is an elite club that only few get to be a part of. And you’re not in, into your in. Whether it is rewarding or a terrible experience can only be decided by those who are apart of in. The most well-known member of the First Family is obviously the President. And arguably, the second well known individual is the spouse of the President.  

In our history, there have been fifty-three first ladies. The first being Martha Washington, and the latest being Melania Trump. We learn their names in history class; however, we don’t spend nearly the amount of time on their stories as we do their husbands.

First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies brings the women in the frontline of their stories and really provides an in depth look at ten first ladies ranging from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama.

Instead of providing separate chapters for each woman, the author intertwines their stories and connects them to each other. Not many can relate to being First Lady, so it does make sense that these women would form bonds and be influenced by each other. Kate Anderson Brower highlights those influences and relationships; she also provides a comparative summary of each other their differences as First Lady.

These women are very different, and each had a different journey. I find it fascinating to see how each woman reacted to different situations. For example, Michelle Obama’s feelings toward leaving the White House opposed to Pat Nixon’s feelings.

Kate Anderson Brower mentions the joyous and triumph achievements of these women. However, she doesn’t shy away from the dark and somber parts of their stories. Including Betty Ford’s addiction, JFK’s death, and Nixon’s impeachment.  

I’m not afraid to state that the only first lady I was extremely aware of was Jackie Kennedy. However, this is only because I’ve read several books about the Kennedys. I could list the names of the other first ladies, but other than that I drew a blank.

After reading, I want to read more about the other ladies because now I’m intrigued and have a better appreciation for them. I’m especially intrigued with Betty Ford.

First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies is a good read. It is worth mentioning that it did feel repetitive at times, and that the final chapter was not as impactful that I had hoped it would be.

Final Analysis

First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies is a fair and intriguing look into the lives of ten First Ladies. It does tend to drag at some parts, but nevertheless, it’s an interesting read that will make you want to conduct your own research to learn more about these women.

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