Lady First: The World of First Lady Sarah Polk

Lady First: The World of First Lady Sarah Polk

The acclaimed author of A Wicked War now gives us the little known story of Sarah Polk: remarkably influential First Lady, and brilliant master of the art of high politics--a crucial but unrecognized figure in the history of American feminism.

At the same time as the Woman's Rights convention was taking place at Seneca Falls in 1848, First Lady Sarah Childress Polk was wielding influence unprecedented for a woman. Yet, while history remembers the women of the convention, it has all but forgotten Sarah Polk. Now, Amy Greenberg brings her story into vivid focus. We see her father raising her on the frontier to discuss politics and business as an equal with men. We see her use savvy and charm to help her brilliant but unlikeable husband ascend to the White House. And we see her exercising truly extraordinary power as First Lady: quietly manipulating elected officials, shaping foreign policy, directing a campaign in support of America's expansionist war against Mexico. Greenberg makes clear that though the Polk marriage was a partnership of equals, Sarah firmly opposed the feminist movement's demands for then-far-reaching equality. A riveting biography--and a revelation of Sarah Polk's complicated but essential part in American feminism.

Title:Lady First: The World of First Lady Sarah Polk
ISBN:9780385354134

    Lady First: The World of First Lady Sarah Polk Reviews

  • Steve Donoghue

    Amy Greenberg's assertion that Sarah Polk, of all people, was responsible for revamping the way Americans conceive of the role and nature of the First Lady seems at first like a bit of a stretch, to p...

  • Susan O

    "Although Sarah Childress Polk rose to political power by crossing boundaries, skillfully manipulating both men and women, and analyzing politics with a focus nearly as intense as that of the husband ...

  • Joseph J.

    This impressive biography joins a growing list of serious First Lady studies, and especially as with Catherine Allgor's study of Dolley Madison- A Perfect Union- focuses on an American First Lady's no...

  • David Dunlap

    This is a biography of Sarah Childress Polk, the wife of the 11th POTUS -- and something of an historical marvel or an annoyance, depending upon one's point of view. The marvel is the author's mastery...

  • Dominique King

    I was curious about "Mrs. James K." Polk, and didn't know much about her as I hadn't done much reading about this time period (my reading tends to include later eras like the "Gilded Age" or the early...

  • Scott Martin

    When you think of powerful First Ladies, chances are that you probably won’t think of Sarah Childress Polk, yet, this work highlights that she was as influential and powerful as any First Ladies wit...

  • Jonathan

    Omg - what a fantastic engaging fun book to read! Ch 5 is a blast! Varina Davis, Dolly Madison, and especially Catherine Beecher all fascinating to learn about. Greenberg writes like she is presenting...

  • Edward

    Excellent biography of First Lady Sarah Polk, who was totally committed to being a partner to her husband President James Polk. That devotion lasted through her 42 years of widowhood. She had many clo...

  • Janilyn Kocher

    This is a very comprehensive biography. I enjoyed all the thorough research the author did on Sarah Childress Polk. The book illustrates how involved SCP was in her husband's political career. I also ...

  • Judy Owens

    Just loved this nuanced treatment of an amazing political insider. Loved it!...