First Women

The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies

First Women, Brower’s second book, debuted at #6 on the New York Times bestsellers list and offers a glimpse into the lives of the true modern power brokers at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: the First Ladies, from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama.
One of the most underestimated—and challenging—positions in the world, the First Lady of the United States must be many things: an inspiring leader with a forward-thinking agenda of her own; a savvy politician, skilled at navigating the treacherous rapids of Washington; a wife and mother operating under constant scrutiny; and an able CEO in charge of running the private side of the White House. Now, as she did in The Residence, Kate Andersen Brower, who covered President Obama’s first term, draws on a wide array of untapped, candid sources—from the former first ladies themselves to their political advisers, friends, family members and residence staff-she tells the stories of the ten remarkable women who have defined the role for more than a half-century.

First Ladies are part of the world’s most elite sorority. Its members include Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama. The stories Brower shares range from the heartwarming to the shocking and tragic, exploring everything from the first ladies’ political crusades to their rivalries and friendships with each other-as revealed in never-before-published letters- to their public and private relationships with their husbands.