Julia Sweig’s richly researched, extraordinarily detailed biography of Lady Bird’s term as First Lady is a substantial attempt to bring needed and deserved attention to the woman who was essential to Lyndon’s self-understanding and his ambition.
What I knew was the surface. But Eleanor, David Michaelis’s recent biography, let me step into her heart. Now I could imagine how she ached for her father’s company, how her relatives’ comments must have stung, how her school days charged her mind and set it in perpetual motion. How awkward it was for her to show tenderness, how desperately she craved it. How fully she became herself and what power that gave her.
Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty does a great service in her new book by taking us behind the public façade. The Triumph of Nancy Reagan is a detailed, insightful, and gossipy look at the wife of Ronald Reagan, one of our most consequential, yet controversial presidents.