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First Ladies and American Women


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About the Author

Jill Abraham Hummer is associate professor of political science at Wilson College, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Political Science Education, White House Studies, Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court, The Hill newspaper, and other publications.


First Ladies and American Women looks at the various public activities of the First Ladies--the breadth of which may surprise the reader--within the construct of the post-suffrage Women's Movement. Placing the stories of the First Ladies within the context of Second and Third Wave Feminism is a unique approach to East Wing Studies; an approach that is way overdue. Abraham Hummer augments this structure with clear, crisp writing, and with an eye for the perfect anecdote. A welcome addition to the growing scholarship on the impact of our First Ladies, as well as a fascinating read.--John Robert Greene, author of Betty Ford: Candor and Courage in the White HouseFirst Ladies and American Women: In Politics and At Home provides a well-written, thoughtful, and engaging examination of the modern first ladies as political actors in the public and the private spheres. Richly contextualized and relying almost exclusively on documents drawn from the presidential archives, this volume reveals the political calculations and personal judgments that have shaped first ladies' actions as members of presidential administrations, as wives of the presidents, and as representatives of American women. First Ladies and American Women presents strong and sometimes controversial arguments that are certain to inform and challenge the reader.--MaryAnne Borrelli, author of The Politics of the President's Wife A well-researched and provocative study of the interaction between first ladies and their political cultures from Lou Henry Hoover to Michelle Obama. A must for libraries that want to be current about presidential spouses.--Lewis L. Gould, author of The First Modern Clash over Federal Power: Wilson versus Hughes in the Presidential Election of 1916
Hummer skillfully illustrates how first lady advocacy has paralleled both national and personal interest, as well as the particular needs of an administration. Those interested in the first lady, women's activism, or the the influences on modern American womanhood will find this account informative and rich with historical detail.--Political Science QuarterlyHummer's research yields a detailed accounting of first ladies' public activities and the ways in which their choices and experiences reflected changing expectations for US women in general.--H-Net Reviews

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