68 of 74 people found the following review helpful
oddly interesting, sometimes heartless,
This review is from: Secret Lives of the First Ladies (Paperback)
This book is loaded with factual information, and yet, somewhere in the midnight hours reading about Ida McKinley, my compassion for her far exceeded the author's glib summation of her life. There seems to be too much twentyfirst century historical judgment and bias.
For example, take Ida McKinley, who apparently during the second year of her marriage lost her mother, her second child after a difficult delivery, and two years later had her remaining daughter die of typhoid fever. And we think Hillary might have had a rough time. Well, Ida got "the falling sickness" or epilepsy, and the author's summation that "Two things, however, are certain: doctors could do little for her beyond sedation, using narcotics to put her in a state of semiconsciousnes that made her look like the undead; and her husband, bound to his decaying wife by a sublime sense of duty, became, in a fashion, her slave." And who would be chipper with this much personal loss is such a short period of time.
It's an interesting book in a sort of Jeopardy/trivia fashion.