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Bonnie Angelo

Author of First Mothers

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Nov
5
Bonnie Angelo
Booknotes, Sunday, November 5, 2000
Bonnie Angelo discusses First Mothers.

First Mothers tells the captivating stories of the mothers who played such large roles in developing the characters of the modern American presidents. The book covers a wide range of memorable personalities, from formidably aristocratic Sara Delano Roosevelt to diehard Democrat Martha Truman, from zealous pacifist Ida Eisenhower to family matriarch Rose Kennedy, nurturing Rebekah Baines Johnson, stoic Hannah Milhous Nixon, and courageous Dorothy Ford. From outspoken Peace Corps mother Lillian Carter to would-be actress Nelle Reagan, champion athlete Dorothy Bush, and gambling, hard-living Virginia Kelley Clinton, First Mothers invites us into the historic lives of these extraordinary women. Much has been written about First Ladies, but now Bonnie Angelo, a veteran correspondent and bureau chief for Time, has captured the daily lives, thoughts, and feelings of these remarkable mothers and the relationships between them and their sons. Angelo recounts stories of traditional family values nurtured to the fullest, examples that should resonate with today's parents. She blends these women's stories with the texture of their lives and the colorful details of their times, and creates much more than faded daguerreotypes in their family albums. Her enthralling personal anecdotes leap off the page to reveal brilliant, moving lives, up close and personal. Based on dozens of interviews with the president-sons and other living relatives of these remarkable women, First Mothers is a richly textured, in-depth look at the lives, the influence, and the patterns that can be identified in the special mother-son relationships that nurtured the modern American presidents—the last eleven—to the pinnacle of power. —from the publisher's website (timspalding)… (more)
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