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First Lady Florence Harding : behind the tragedy and controversy

Author: Katherine A S Sibley
Publisher: Lawerence, Kan. : University Press of Kansas, ©2009.
Series: Modern first ladies.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Florence Kling Harding has come down through history as one of our most scorned first ladies. Victimized by caricatures and branded a shrew, she stands at the bottom of historians' polls, her reputation tarnished by her husband's scandals despite their joint popularity while in office. These depictions, argues Katherine Sibley, have prevented us today from seeing how innovative a first lady Florence Harding really
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Genre/Form: Biography
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Sibley, Katherine A.S. (Katherine Amelia Siobhan), 1961-
First Lady Florence Harding.
Lawerence, Kan. : University Press of Kansas, ©2009
(OCoLC)653438465
Named Person: Florence Kling Harding; Warren G Harding; Florence Kling Harding; Warren G Harding; Florence Kling Harding; Florence Kling Harding
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Katherine A S Sibley
ISBN: 9780700616497 0700616497
OCLC Number: 281096391
Description: xii, 366 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Contents: Prologue : talking to the dead --
Part one : Early life, 1860-1891. A proud family, a shrouded family --
The girl on the horse --
Whipped with a cherry switch --
Living in sin --
Divorce --
"The thirst for love" --
Part two : The Marion Star and Columbus, 1891-1915. Business and an illegitimate baby --
Friends, neighbors, and the mental institution --
Political wife --
Adultery again --
Betrayal and confrontation --
Marion exodus --
Part three : The senate, 1916-1920. Fish out of water --
The morphine addict and the Hope Diamond --
Lust and war --
"I do not permit him to run" --
Part four : Campaign and transition, 1926-1921. The zodiac of Jupiter --
Blackmail --
Chicago --
Women --
Racism, scandal, and movie stars --
Prerogatives of a presidentess --
More women --
Part five : First lady, 1921-1923. "Flo from Ohio" --
"No rumor exceeded the truth" --
"Us girls" and "my boys" --
"The chief executive and Mr. Harding" --
The summer of '22 --
The valley of death --
One suicide and two resignations --
Astral premonitions --
Part six : The western and Alaska tour, 1923. The duchess of America --
Poison --
The heart of San Francisco --
Negligent homicide --
Part seven : The widow, 1923-1924. The fires of August --
Spies and scandals --
Life at the sanitarium --
Remembering.
Series Title: Modern first ladies.
Responsibility: Katherine A.S. Sibley.

Abstract:

Florence Kling Harding has come down through history as one of our most scorned first ladies. This book offers a full treatment of Florence as first lady rather than as mere supporting actress in the  Read more...

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"A terrific biography of an important first lady who has never been given the recognition she truly deserves. Sibley not only corrects the historical record about the Harding presidency while Read more...

 
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   schema:description "Florence Kling Harding has come down through history as one of our most scorned first ladies. Victimized by caricatures and branded a shrew, she stands at the bottom of historians' polls, her reputation tarnished by her husband's scandals despite their joint popularity while in office. These depictions, argues Katherine Sibley, have prevented us today from seeing how innovative a first lady Florence Harding really was. This new look at Mrs. Harding restores humanity to an oft-maligned figure by examining her progressive causes, her celebrity, and her role in her husband's work. For if Eleanor Roosevelt is credited with shattering the first lady's ceremonial mold, it was Florence Harding who made the first cracks. Sibley's is the first book to offer a full treatment of Florence as first lady rather than as mere supporting actress in the Harding administration. Never shying from publicity, she made herself more available to the press than did her predecessors and opened the White House up to the public. And she took such a pioneering role in Warren Harding's campaign and presidency that many thought she outdid her husband as a politician. Turning to primary sources that others have overlooked, Sibley challenges the clichés about Florence's time in the national spotlight. She describes how Mrs. Harding supported racial equality, lobbied for better treatment for veterans and female prisoners, and maintained a lifelong interest in preventing animal cruelty. As adviser to her husband, she assisted with his speechwriting and consulted with the cabinet; she was also the first first lady to deliver spontaneous speeches while traveling with the president. At a personal level, Sibley examines in detail how Mrs. Harding responded to her husband's death, assessing why this tragedy struck Americans with such force even as national empathy proved so fleeting. She also offers a more nuanced description of the president's philandering, viewing Nan Britton's claims about an affair with skepticism while noting the effects on Florence of his dalliance with Carrie Phillips. Florence Harding bequeathed an activist legacy, and it is due to her example that aspiring presidential wives are expected to campaign with their husbands and be accessible to public and press. Florence Harding truly set the stage for those to follow; this book delivers the full and fair portrait that has long been her due. - Jacket flap."@en ;
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