Nancy Reagan in Perspective (Google eBook)
The public perception of the First Lady has evolved through the years and the press and scholars are beginning to take note of the essential role presidents wives have played in the Administration and in the nation as a whole. Their participation in the countrys historical, philosophical and sociological experience has made them 'First Women' and 'First Partners'. They have been identified as standard bearers of the whole female community, as they have both pioneered and reflected womens role in American society. The twentieth century in particular has seen the construction of their image in the media and highlighted the evolution of their political role at the heart of presidential power. Has Nancy Reagan been underrated, misunderstood, unfairly criticised? Have her qualities (clear-sightedness, rigor, moral rectitude, empathy, her positive image abroad, etc.) been too often ignored? To what extent has she expanded or limited the undefined institution of the First Lady? The book seeks to explore the ambiguity that underlies this First Ladys multiple facets. It intends to shed light on the particularities of one of the most controversial yet exceptional women of the twentieth century and get a deeper insight into the complex role of the (first) lady they called "the woman behind the man".
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Page xiii - And who knows? Somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow in my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the President's spouse. I wish him well!
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