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First ladies and American women : in politics and at home / Jill Abraham Hummer

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Material Type
Hummer, Jill Abraham, author.
Publication Info.
Lawrence, Kansas : University Press of Kansas, [2017]


1 online resource (x, 269 pages) : illustrations
text txt rdacontent
computer c rdamedia
online resource cr rdacarrier
Includes bibliographical references (pages 225-258) and index.
Print version record.
"Unelected, but expected to act as befits her 'office, ' the first lady has what Pat Nixon called 'the hardest unpaid job in the world.' Michelle Obama championed military families with the program Joining Forces. Four decades earlier Pat Nixon traveled to Africa as the nation's official representative. And nearly four decades before that, Lou Hoover took to the airwaves to solicit women's help in unemployment relief. Each first lady has, in her way, been intimately linked with the roles, rights, and responsibilities of American women. Pursuing this connection, First Ladies and American Women reveals how each first lady from Lou Henry Hoover to Michelle Obama has reflected and responded to trends that marked and unified her time. Jill Abraham Hummer divides her narrative into three distinct epochs. In the first, stretching from Lou Hoover to Jacqueline Kennedy, we see the advent of women's involvement in politics following women's suffrage, as well as pressures on family stability during depression, war, and postwar uncertainty. Next comes the second wave of the feminist movement, from Lady Bird Johnson's tenure through Rosalyn Carter's, when equality and the politics of the personal issues prevailed. And finally we enter the charged political and partisan environment over women's rights and the politics of motherhood in the wake of the conservative backlash against feminism after 1980, from Nancy Reagan to Michelle Obama. Throughout, Hummer explores how background, personality, ambitions, and her relationship to the president shaped each first lady's response to women in society and to the broader political context in which each administration functioned--and how, in turn, these singular responses reflect the changing role of women in American society over nearly a century"--Provided by publisher.
"This book is a history of first ladies beginning with Lou Henry Hoover and ending with Michelle Obama, discussing how they defined their role with a focus on how they related to women's issues and how they participated in politics. Hummer explores the intersection of personality and the first ladies' personal ambition and relationship with their presidential spouse, with the social and political context of the time as these women found their place in politics and the presidency. How each incumbent defines this rather formless office reflects the changing role of women in society as well as the image the president wants to project of family life in the White House and his attitude towards women"--Provided by publisher.
After Suffrage. Women's Citizenship ; The Stable Society -- The Second Wave. Equality ; The Personal Is Political -- After 1980. Women's Rights and Human Rights ; Motherhood and Family Politics.
Local Note
Presidents' spouses -- United States -- History -- 21st century.
Presidents' spouses -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Presidents' spouses -- United States -- Biography.
Presidents' spouses -- Family relationships -- United States -- History.
Women -- Political activity -- United States -- History.
Sex role -- United States -- History.
United States -- Politics and government -- 1929-1933.
United States -- Politics and government -- 1933-1945.
United States -- Politics and government -- 1945-1989.
United States -- Politics and government -- 1989-
Présidents -- Conjoints -- Relations familiales -- États-Unis -- Histoire.
Femmes -- Activité politique -- États-Unis -- Histoire.
Rôle selon le sexe -- États-Unis -- Histoire.
États-Unis -- Politique et gouvernement -- 1929-1933.
États-Unis -- Politique et gouvernement -- 1933-1945.
États-Unis -- Politique et gouvernement -- 1945-1989.
États-Unis -- Politique et gouvernement -- 1989-
POLITICAL SCIENCE -- Government -- Executive Branch.
HISTORY -- United States -- 21st Century.
HISTORY -- United States -- 20th Century.
Politics and government. (OCoLC)fst01919741
Presidents' spouses. (OCoLC)fst01075830
Presidents' spouses -- Family relationships. (OCoLC)fst01075832
Sex role. (OCoLC)fst01114598
Women -- Political activity. (OCoLC)fst01734136
United States. (OCoLC)fst01204155
Chronological Term
Since 1900
Electronic books.
Electronic books.
Biographies. (OCoLC)fst01919896
History. (OCoLC)fst01411628
Other Form:
Print version: Hummer, Jill Abraham. First ladies and American women. Lawrence, Kansas : University Press of Kansas, [2017] 9780700623808 (DLC) 2016051183 (OCoLC)960845677
9780700623815 (electronic bk.)
0700623817 (electronic bk.)
9780700623808 (hardback ; acid free paper)
0700623809 (hardback ; acid free paper)