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Hidden Power: Presidential Marriages That Shaped Our Recent History

Marton, Kati

565 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0375401067 / ISBN 13: 9780375401060
Published by Pantheon Books, New York, 2001
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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x, 414, [8] p. Illustrations. Notes. Photo Credits. Index. Epilogue by Laura Bush and George W. Bush. From Wikipedia: "Kati Marton is a Hungarian-American author and journalist. Her career has included reporting for ABC News as a foreign correspondent and National Public Radio, where she started as a production assistant in 1971, as well as print journalism and writing a number of books. She is the former chairwoman of the International Women's Health Coalition, and a director (former chairwoman) of the Committee to Protect Journalists and other bodies including the International Rescue Committee, Human Rights Watch and the New America Foundation.".TV anchor Peter Jennings was her second husband and the marriage was, by her own admission, a difficult one, partly because Jennings didn't support her in her career ambition in journalism. Jennings and Marton had two children together. She was married to diplomat Richard Holbrooke from 1995 until his death in December 2010, frequently traveling with him during his diplomatic missions in the former Yugoslavia and in the Middle East. She wrote about their love and recovering from his death in her 2012 memoir Paris: A Love Story/" Very good in very good dust jacket. DJ has slight wear and soiling. First edition. First edition [stated]. First printing [stated]. Bookseller Inventory # 67329

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Hidden Power: Presidential Marriages That ...

Publisher: Pantheon Books, New York

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


An extraordinary work of history and original reporting that reveals the ways in which presidential marriages have affected the tone, character, and policies of twelve administrations, from Woodrow and Edith Wilson to George W. and Laura Bush.

Each of the marriages that Kati Marton examines in this hugely appealing book offers up its own unexpected lessons about power and marriage, about the influence of presidential wives, and about the evolution of women’s roles in the twentieth century. Based on private White House documents and on interviews with the participants and with eyewitnesses to presidential events, Hidden Power explores how both the personal dynamics and public faces of White House marriages have shaped our history.

We see Edith Wilson literally running the government when her deeply beloved husband becomes ill; how the combination of Franklin Roosevelt’s reassuring spirit and his wife’s humility guided the country through Depression and war; how Bess Truman’s loyalty, bluntness, and unpretentiousness were some of her
husband’s greatest resources; the superb and necessary diplomacy of Jacqueline Kennedy.

We observe Lady Bird Johnson retaining her own compass in the face of massive criticism of her husband; how Patricia Nixon’s estrangement from her husband fed his paranoia; how the Fords reassured us after the debacles of Vietnam and Watergate; Rosalynn Carter’s struggle to carve out new territory as first lady; the generally constructive role Nancy Reagan played, despite her frivolous reputation; the razor-sharp political instincts behind Barbara Bush’s grandmotherly image; how Hillary Clinton saved her husband’s presidency; and how Laura Bush provides emotional ballast for her husband.

Here are the stories of the ultimate power couples—each one very different, but all of them informative, lively, and absolutely fascinating.

From the Back Cover:

"In Hidden Power Kati Marton explores a neglected dimension of the modern presidency. The result is not only acute and perceptive; it is also one of the most readable and diverting books of the year."--Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
"Hidden Power is an astute analysis of high-level bedroom politics: intimate, well-reported, and well-told. One assumes presidential wives have been influential and powerful. Marton proves it with the kind of delving and digging that makes her one of our fine historians. Solid and dazzling, a great read."--Lesley Stahl

"Kati Marton takes us on a fascinating and illuminating tour of the hidden power centers of the American Presidency–the women behind, beside and occasionally in front of the men in the Oval Office. I was entertained, informed and enlightened." –Tom Brokaw

"Kati Marton has done a splendid job of showing us the importance of modern First Ladies as political figures and as towering examples of the changing role of women in America. Hidden Power is an absorbing and original look at a dozen formidable women and the men with whom they changed American history." –Michael Beschloss

"There have been many books on First Families. This is without question one of the very best. Kati Marton is a wonderful writer with a gift for storytelling and a keen insight into the relationships between presidents and their wives. This is a book anyone interested in the American presidency will love to read." –Doris Kearns Goodwin

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