Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

I am indebted to family, friends, and colleagues, who provided me support and encouragement in writing this book. I gathered the evidence presented in this volume at a series of presidential libraries, whose staffs were always responsive to my many requests. Thanks go to the...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-4

In April 2011, Michelle Obama attended a baby shower for forty pregnant military wives at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. She came bearing a basket filled with pink and blue White House blankets. She had taken up a gift drive...

Part I. After Suffrage

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1. Women’s Citizenship

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pp. 7-53

In 1923, Lou Hoover, wife of Herbert Hoover, secretary of commerce, urged Republican women assembled at the Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia to surrender some of the time they devoted to pleasurable pursuits and take an active part in...

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2. The Stable Society

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pp. 54-86

"Since the family is the basic social unit of our national life, it naturally follows that that which is good for the family is good for the nation,” wrote M. S. Wilson, head of the New Deal Subsistence Homestead Program, in 1935. Alongside their citizenship...

Part II. The Second Wave

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3. Equality

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pp. 89-124

The second wave of the feminist movement challenged political and legal barriers to women’s access to public life. Equality was its rallying cry, and the ERA was the paramount women’s issue. Presidential administrations responded...

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4. The Personal Is Political

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pp. 125-150

The second wave of the women’s rights movement challenged the boundary between the personal and political. The personal issues of daily life became political issues susceptible to state solution. The movement challenged personal...

Part III. After 1980

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5. Women’s Rights and Human Rights

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pp. 153-190

Through the actions of first ladies serving after 1980, we see the legacy of the second wave in three main areas. Though we do not see each first lady acting in every one of these areas, each one did have a role in linking together women’s...

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6. Motherhood and Family Politics

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pp. 191-219

In 1980, the major political parties provided Americans with a choice between two opposing worldviews on the meaning of motherhood in America. As Kristin Luker has written, abortion solidified these distinctions. The pro-life...

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Conclusion

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pp. 220-224

First ladies have acted. They have baked cookies and had teas. They have given commencement speeches and radio addresses. They have written articles and books. They have rallied women to causes, testified before...

Notes

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pp. 225-252

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Bibliographic Essay

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pp. 253-258

In writing this book, I have benefited from the work of political scientists, historians, biographers, and journalists who have gone before me. The volumes that have been written about first ladies range from the scholarly to the sensational and the individual to the institutional. Happily, first lady scholarship...

Index

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pp. 259-269

Back Cover

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