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Why They Stay: Sex Scandals, Deals, and Hidden Agendas of Nine Political Wives

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Kirkus Reviews says, “A journalist explores the motivations and emotional constructs of nine political wives who chose to stay in their marriages—in some cases, only for a while—after being confronted with their husbands’ infidelities .... Skillful prose makes the dishy profiles an engaging read .... A lively political book ...." Hillary Clinton couldn't have known how her Kirkus Reviews says, “A journalist explores the motivations and emotional constructs of nine political wives who chose to stay in their marriages—in some cases, only for a while—after being confronted with their husbands’ infidelities .... Skillful prose makes the dishy profiles an engaging read .... A lively political book ...." Hillary Clinton couldn't have known how her husband’s high-profile philandering would play out. Would he be rehabilitated in the public eye? She took the gamble. Had she left the marriage, today she might be the spurned wife of a retired politician instead of the first American woman to head a major party ticket. Looking back on the path chosen by the nine political wives profiled in this book, we have the evidence to see a pattern—as old as the dynastic maneuverings of England’s medieval queens. The women married to the “royalty” of our times—politicians—make similar cold calculations in order to hold onto their “thrones” and their family’s history-making potential. After covering politicians for decades, acclaimed columnist Anne Michaud switched her gaze to the women behind the cheating men. Drawing from multiple sources that span the Roosevelts’ marriage to the more recent scandal involving Hillary Clinton’s closest aide Huma Abedin (wife of “sexter,” Anthony Weiner), "Why They Stay: Sex Scandals, Deals, and Hidden Agendas of Nine Political Wives" argues that when it comes to the “power behind the throne,” women in the limelight weigh the risks and rewards. They remain loyal to their men, because of complex, often unconscious forces.From mapping a path to power to laudable notions of holding the family together, Michaud examines the uniquely challenging Faustian bargains that political wives grapple with, even as the public spotlight illuminates their every move.


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Kirkus Reviews says, “A journalist explores the motivations and emotional constructs of nine political wives who chose to stay in their marriages—in some cases, only for a while—after being confronted with their husbands’ infidelities .... Skillful prose makes the dishy profiles an engaging read .... A lively political book ...." Hillary Clinton couldn't have known how her Kirkus Reviews says, “A journalist explores the motivations and emotional constructs of nine political wives who chose to stay in their marriages—in some cases, only for a while—after being confronted with their husbands’ infidelities .... Skillful prose makes the dishy profiles an engaging read .... A lively political book ...." Hillary Clinton couldn't have known how her husband’s high-profile philandering would play out. Would he be rehabilitated in the public eye? She took the gamble. Had she left the marriage, today she might be the spurned wife of a retired politician instead of the first American woman to head a major party ticket. Looking back on the path chosen by the nine political wives profiled in this book, we have the evidence to see a pattern—as old as the dynastic maneuverings of England’s medieval queens. The women married to the “royalty” of our times—politicians—make similar cold calculations in order to hold onto their “thrones” and their family’s history-making potential. After covering politicians for decades, acclaimed columnist Anne Michaud switched her gaze to the women behind the cheating men. Drawing from multiple sources that span the Roosevelts’ marriage to the more recent scandal involving Hillary Clinton’s closest aide Huma Abedin (wife of “sexter,” Anthony Weiner), "Why They Stay: Sex Scandals, Deals, and Hidden Agendas of Nine Political Wives" argues that when it comes to the “power behind the throne,” women in the limelight weigh the risks and rewards. They remain loyal to their men, because of complex, often unconscious forces.From mapping a path to power to laudable notions of holding the family together, Michaud examines the uniquely challenging Faustian bargains that political wives grapple with, even as the public spotlight illuminates their every move.

30 review for Why They Stay: Sex Scandals, Deals, and Hidden Agendas of Nine Political Wives

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sandi

    This is an excellent book--well-researched, and skillfully written. An informative read--recommended for anyone with an interest (even passing) in politics and /or women's issues.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Janet Graham

    Great Political Gossip On first blush, this seemed to be just glorified political gossip disguised as psychology. Much of what she writes about I had no prior knowledge. The author does a wonderful just documenting her sources as everything is footnoted. She does not disguise her admiration for most of these women, especially those on the left side of the political isle, including definitions of Liberalism/Conservatism that are opinion and not fact.. While I may not accept her ‘White Queen’ theor Great Political Gossip On first blush, this seemed to be just glorified political gossip disguised as psychology. Much of what she writes about I had no prior knowledge. The author does a wonderful just documenting her sources as everything is footnoted. She does not disguise her admiration for most of these women, especially those on the left side of the political isle, including definitions of Liberalism/Conservatism that are opinion and not fact.. While I may not accept her ‘White Queen’ theory, it does bear a closer look. It reads a little better than a textbook, but not as smooth as a novel. It is definitely an interesting book, if only for the gossip value.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Pegboard

    Why They Stay: Sex Scandals, Deals, and Hidden Agendas of Nine Political Wives by Anne Michaud is a documented account of women in history who have stayed with their political husband when they could have had a happier marriage elsewhere. The author compares the qualities of the Medieval England Queen Elizabeth Woodville to nine women. She highlights five specific traits that many of the featured political wives exhibit. These modern day White Queens face unbelievable pressure and publicity that Why They Stay: Sex Scandals, Deals, and Hidden Agendas of Nine Political Wives by Anne Michaud is a documented account of women in history who have stayed with their political husband when they could have had a happier marriage elsewhere. The author compares the qualities of the Medieval England Queen Elizabeth Woodville to nine women. She highlights five specific traits that many of the featured political wives exhibit. These modern day White Queens face unbelievable pressure and publicity that doesn’t allow them to sort through infidelity in a private manner.   It impressed me with the research and unbiased writing Anne Michaud displays in Why They Stay. She discusses the effect these women had on their family and country by the decisions they made. I was surprised by how many of these were related by extended relations or marriage. My favorite of the nine women would have to be Jackie Kennedy. I have always viewed her as a beautiful and classy lady and I was glad the author did not smear her name. I found I learned a lot about past presidents and their families that is not common knowledge. I think political enthusiasts and anyone who draw inspiration from strong women will find this an outstanding read.   

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    I won a copy of this book. What in interesting, in-depth look at public sex scandals that have befallen 9 different political couples. Michaud gives a thorough history of each power couple, from their grandparents and parents all the way to how they ended up together and the lives they made. She finishes each chapter talking about how the scandal effected any children involved (Chelsea Clinton being the most prominent one). I found it a very in-depth and well researched book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Nine couples; Eleanor & F.D.R., Jackie & J.F.K., Hillary & Bill Clinton, Wendy & David Vitter, Silda Wall & Eliot Spitzer, and Huma Abedin & Anthony Weiner from the United States, Valerie Hobson & Jack Profumo, Marion Stein & Jeremy Thorpe from Britain, and Gila & Moshe Katsav from Israel. Some of these were rising political stars until their sexual escapades got them into hot water. For others they took combative attitudes into higher office and alienated potential allies so that when self-infl Nine couples; Eleanor & F.D.R., Jackie & J.F.K., Hillary & Bill Clinton, Wendy & David Vitter, Silda Wall & Eliot Spitzer, and Huma Abedin & Anthony Weiner from the United States, Valerie Hobson & Jack Profumo, Marion Stein & Jeremy Thorpe from Britain, and Gila & Moshe Katsav from Israel. Some of these were rising political stars until their sexual escapades got them into hot water. For others they took combative attitudes into higher office and alienated potential allies so that when self-inflicted trouble reared its ugly head they had no one to turn to. As social media developed it offered sexting opportunities as well as new ways to arrange for call girls. Some couples would stay together while others would go their separate ways

  6. 4 out of 5

    Edward

    I found quite interesting how the author created the "five common traits" to evaluate each of the couples she profiled. It left me wanting to learn more about how the “White Queen Quotient” was established too. There was so much I didn't know about these ladies and their lives. I think the subject of the book is very timely in view of what has been in the news recently about across the board "abuse" by power players in other parts of society. Over all I enjoyed it very much and recommend it. Onc I found quite interesting how the author created the "five common traits" to evaluate each of the couples she profiled. It left me wanting to learn more about how the “White Queen Quotient” was established too. There was so much I didn't know about these ladies and their lives. I think the subject of the book is very timely in view of what has been in the news recently about across the board "abuse" by power players in other parts of society. Over all I enjoyed it very much and recommend it. Once I began reading it couldn't put it down.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris Torretta

    I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, unless we count cookbooks, which I love! Politics I especially work to stay away from. But this is intriguing so I could not pass it up! The synopsis says it all. The author looks into the lives of women that have been changed by the men who cheated on them. Many of these men were downright ridiculous! There are reasons that women stay though, and not just to look like a loving wife. I really enjoyed the beginning of the book where she takes the life of The White I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, unless we count cookbooks, which I love! Politics I especially work to stay away from. But this is intriguing so I could not pass it up! The synopsis says it all. The author looks into the lives of women that have been changed by the men who cheated on them. Many of these men were downright ridiculous! There are reasons that women stay though, and not just to look like a loving wife. I really enjoyed the beginning of the book where she takes the life of The White Princess and shows what women in politics choose to do when they stay by their man. She compares all of the women to The White Princess and uses her as a sort of starting point. And that’s not all. There is a ton of history here, not only about the parties involved, but their families as well and the questions of why they turned out the way they did. How these people were raised and what they were used to, from childhood. It is a fascinating look at psychology and what parents can do to their children and what those children, in turn, wind up doing to create the same battles. Highly entertaining, although at the beginning a little redundant. There were also a lot of family members for some of these families and since I am not a history buff it was hard to keep up. Fortunately the author uses the detail of each family to explain the why’s behind everything they do. The information is fascinating but would not normally be my cup of tea. Stuck with the read because of the women she added in. They are all intelligent, strong, independent women, making their stories even more fascinating. In short: A very interesting read. Thoroughly researched!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Billy Buttons

    This book was entered in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. This is what our readers thought: Title: Why They Stay Author: Anne Michaud Star Rating: 5 Stars Number of Readers: 16 Stats Editing: 10/10 Writing Style: 10/10 Content: 8/10 Cover: 9/10 Of the 16 readers: 13 would read another book by this author. 13 thought the cover was good or excellent. 16 felt it was easy to follow. 13 would recommend this story to another reader to try. 10 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘subject knowledge’. 6 felt the author’ This book was entered in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. This is what our readers thought: Title: Why They Stay Author: Anne Michaud Star Rating: 5 Stars Number of Readers: 16 Stats Editing: 10/10 Writing Style: 10/10 Content: 8/10 Cover: 9/10 Of the 16 readers: 13 would read another book by this author. 13 thought the cover was good or excellent. 16 felt it was easy to follow. 13 would recommend this story to another reader to try. 10 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘subject knowledge’. 6 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘writing style’. 15 felt the pacing was good or excellent. 13 thought the author understood the readership and what they wanted. Readers’ Comments ‘Anybody interested in political scandals will find this of interest. A clever analysis of women behind the cheating men in high level politics, from Kennedy to Clinton.’ Male reader, aged 43 ‘Fascinating read. I always wondered why they stayed, particularly Hilary, and now I have a better idea to what motivated them.’ Female reader, aged 54 ‘Who know what happens behind closed doors. I often wondered how Hilary Clinton put up with her husband’s shenanigans. What did she say to him when she discovered the truth? This is a truly fascinating read and, despite the subject, not over the top. The author’s insights felt justifiable and, of course, a little bit scandalous.’ Female reader, aged 68 ‘There’s a theory here; is it correct? No idea. But it’s interesting.’ Male reader, aged 51 To Sum It Up: ‘A fascinating insight into the life of the women behind the cheating politicians. A FINALIST and highly recommended.’ The Wishing Shelf Book Awards

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    While I am not sure how I feel about some of the motivations the author proposes for why these women stay in such unhealthy relationships this is still one of the best analysis of these events. Unfortunately I don't think it is limited to political people only and I think many women fail to find self fulfillment because of misplaced loyalty taught by a patriarchal society to be the wife's job. I find it sad for both the women and society as a whole when they are prevented from self achievement b While I am not sure how I feel about some of the motivations the author proposes for why these women stay in such unhealthy relationships this is still one of the best analysis of these events. Unfortunately I don't think it is limited to political people only and I think many women fail to find self fulfillment because of misplaced loyalty taught by a patriarchal society to be the wife's job. I find it sad for both the women and society as a whole when they are prevented from self achievement by an out dated societal more. I received this book as part of a good reads giveaway but the opinions expressed are solely my own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mary Johnston

    I liked the book. It was interesting and well researched, seemed factual without the sensationalism that is often found when reading stories/ articles written by journalists.

  11. 4 out of 5

    J Roch

    Fascinating read by Anne Michaud. There is more to explore and update. I'm waiting for the second edition to explain why Mrs. Melania Trump stays. Perhaps Ms. Michaud can give us some insight into one of the most curious present day marriages. Janice Rochstein

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Helen

    The author has covered many male politicians in her career, and now she turns her attention to the wives of politicians who have stood by their men in spite of infidelities and scandals. The book is well-researched and well written. But if you're looking for salacious details or gossip, you've come to the wrong place. The book is exactly what it says it is: it is an accounting of each woman and what her possible motives are for having stood by her man. One thing I found particularly interesting The author has covered many male politicians in her career, and now she turns her attention to the wives of politicians who have stood by their men in spite of infidelities and scandals. The book is well-researched and well written. But if you're looking for salacious details or gossip, you've come to the wrong place. The book is exactly what it says it is: it is an accounting of each woman and what her possible motives are for having stood by her man. One thing I found particularly interesting was the conjecture that the women see themselves not as an appendage to a powerful man, but as half of a team. In this instance, the woman chooses the mission of the team over herself. When a woman sees the team's potential for good, she can stand up to the disapproval of others for her choice to stay with her husband. Women included in this book are Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy, Valerie Hobson, Marion Stein, Hillary Clinton, Hilda Wall, Wendy Vitter, Huma Abedin, and Gila Katsav.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Very entertaining book. Love books that give you the behind the scenes information. My wife loved it as well and would highly recommend it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Grymm Gevierre

    Anne Michaud has spent a lot of time covering politics through journalism, and it’s very clear that experience translated well into a book format. Michaud has a strong name and handle on candidly discussing her views on many women’s related issues, and this book is no different.  This is far from a regular political story, as the focus is shifted toward the women and their motives for staying in toxic (particularly cheating) relationships with their spouses. The range here goes from true love to Anne Michaud has spent a lot of time covering politics through journalism, and it’s very clear that experience translated well into a book format. Michaud has a strong name and handle on candidly discussing her views on many women’s related issues, and this book is no different.  This is far from a regular political story, as the focus is shifted toward the women and their motives for staying in toxic (particularly cheating) relationships with their spouses. The range here goes from true love to political prowess to power, and each person examined is analyzed thoroughly to discuss the possible motives and likely reasons why they’ve chosen to stay (as the title suggests). This piece is a very neat work on an issue often talked about at the water cooler, but not often thoroughly analyzed and pieced together. I really like what Michaud has done here, and her passion for discussing issues that aren’t always comfortable for many really shines here. What I really love is that we see these things play out on TV, in newspapers, and tabloids, but we don’t often get a deep dive. A great piece of work!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shandra Frecker

    Incredible, I really liked it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Winking

    This isn't my usual book genre, however it was recommended to me by a friend so I thought I would give it a go and I was not disappointed. The book is about the reasoning why some women (politicians wives) choose to stay with their cheating husbands and I have to say after reading this book I do have a new perspective, the book is well researched and really does offer alternative reasoning behind the decisions that some of these women make. Im really glad I read this book as I feel I got to find This isn't my usual book genre, however it was recommended to me by a friend so I thought I would give it a go and I was not disappointed. The book is about the reasoning why some women (politicians wives) choose to stay with their cheating husbands and I have to say after reading this book I do have a new perspective, the book is well researched and really does offer alternative reasoning behind the decisions that some of these women make. Im really glad I read this book as I feel I got to find out much more about the people the author has written about and in turn has changed my opinion a few things. Anne Michaud has obviously done her research and presented fact based approach to this subject. Well done! I would recommend this book. 4 stars.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Reader Views

    Reviewed by Kimberly Luyckx for Reader Views (11/17) Anne Michaud, acclaimed journalist and author of “Why They Stay: Sex Scandals, Deals and Hidden Agendas of Nine Political Wives,” details a compelling account of couples in the public limelight whose marriages are tainted by disgrace, injustice and dishonor. How and why the wives of these couples stay in their marriages is the author’s focus. Michaud offers nine examples of political marriages that endure in the face of sexual scandal and infid Reviewed by Kimberly Luyckx for Reader Views (11/17) Anne Michaud, acclaimed journalist and author of “Why They Stay: Sex Scandals, Deals and Hidden Agendas of Nine Political Wives,” details a compelling account of couples in the public limelight whose marriages are tainted by disgrace, injustice and dishonor. How and why the wives of these couples stay in their marriages is the author’s focus. Michaud offers nine examples of political marriages that endure in the face of sexual scandal and infidelity. The stories that she presents span the period of 1920 to the present day as well as both sides of the Atlantic. The author compares the women to the medieval queen, Elizabeth Woodville, grandmother to King Henry VIII, whose loyalty to the Tudor dynasty surmounted her desire for a faithful marriage. Michaud describes five specific characteristics she calls the “White Queen Traits” which she says account for the reasons these political wives stay with their immoral husbands. She describes the “White Queen” attributes as: patriarchal tradition, security, patriotism, family responsibilities and legacy building. Michaud hypothesizes that today’s political marriages are not so different from the centuries old sovereign unions. In her view, spouses of contemporary statesmen are destined to make the same sort of compromises as medieval queens did due to the unique set of standards and pressures they face. Recent times also bring to light other factors that may play a part in why these women stay. Michaud invites us to question whether or not these wives might be influenced by a general distrust of the media press. Or, as the role for women in politics evolves, could they be jockeying for their own powerful positions in the government? “Why They Stay” is well written and has an in-depth group of endnotes that denote the book’s tremendous supporting references. The “stories” are mini histories of time. They serve as informative synopses of the Roosevelts, Kennedys, Clintons and other prominent families. The writer does take a bit of liberty in assuming the source of these women’s beliefs and feelings, whether of conservatism, patriotism or security. At the same time, theorizing and labeling each of the wives with a “White Queen Quotient” makes for an interesting read. While I see the book as more of a political history and social study, others may view it as a tabloid type of journalism. For example, in commenting on Jacqueline Kennedy, the author asserts it was “hardly a patriotic choice (to marry Aristotle Onassis), and for this, Jackie forfeits her White Queen points.” Anne Michaud’s book is an intricate psychological study of political wives who remain in marriages despite their influential partners’ sexual exploits. The book highlights the similarities between these nine wives and gives particulars as to why their public positions make them more likely to remain in such humiliating relationships. Anyone interested in politics or the dynamics of couples in public positions would definitely find this book of interest. “Why They Stay: Sex Scandals, Deals and Hidden Agendas of Nine Political Wives” by Anne Michaud is a poignant look at modern political partnerships whose message not only speaks to the validity of marriage in leadership positions but also to the principles and morals of our leaders themselves.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Honey Bee

    Why They Stay is a fascinating book, which gives an in-depth look at the possible reasons why some women in the public eye stand by their man. Looking into the way these people were raised from early childhood allows for a better understanding of why someone may choose to stay with a cheating husband. Michaud outlines five traits thatches women share that attribute to the reasons why they stayed. A well researched and well written book that I would highly recommend.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary Mclaughlin

    High profile, political marriage is an intriguing topic and the wives chosen in WhyTheyStay does not disappoint. The fascinating White Queen theory that ties the book together, along with the well documented research, keep the pages turning. I especially enjoyed the generational differences of the the marital relationships and the effect the White Queen Theory had on it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    G

    Exceptional book. A thorough study of high profile political wives who stayed (at least for a while) with their cheating husbands. Anne delves into the upbringings of husbands and wives, political settings, and the scandals that brought them down of eight couples. She outlines the five traits of wives that attributes to the reasons why they stayed, and compared to one well known English queen who stayed in with her philandering husband, Henry IV. Interesting read, not just of the lives of these Exceptional book. A thorough study of high profile political wives who stayed (at least for a while) with their cheating husbands. Anne delves into the upbringings of husbands and wives, political settings, and the scandals that brought them down of eight couples. She outlines the five traits of wives that attributes to the reasons why they stayed, and compared to one well known English queen who stayed in with her philandering husband, Henry IV. Interesting read, not just of the lives of these political figures but of the social values that existed in the past and still hold true.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Island Rose

    Why They Stay by Anne Michaud is a really interesting read that explores the possible reasons why political wives stay with their philandering politician husbands after a cheating scandal has broken. If you have ever wondered why Hilary stayed with Bill after the ‘Cigar Incident’ then this is the book to read. It demonstrates the motivations behind the decision to stay and the hidden agendas of the scorned women. I was particularly interested in reading about the Profumo Scandal as there is a rea Why They Stay by Anne Michaud is a really interesting read that explores the possible reasons why political wives stay with their philandering politician husbands after a cheating scandal has broken. If you have ever wondered why Hilary stayed with Bill after the ‘Cigar Incident’ then this is the book to read. It demonstrates the motivations behind the decision to stay and the hidden agendas of the scorned women. I was particularly interested in reading about the Profumo Scandal as there is a really good drama about his Profumo’s affair with Christine Keeler currently on the TV. There were many cheating politicians in the book that I hadn’t heard about and the case studies into them were so fascinating. A great read!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Monica Reents

    I rarely read books with a political background, but Why They Stay was a fun and entertaining read. I imagine the research for this book was addictive, because gathering information and insight as to who these women really were and the reasons for their choices would be compelling. I almost hate to use the word entertaining when discussing my reasons for enjoying this book, but it fits my feelings. I always held assumptions as to why a woman would remain married to these men who became political I rarely read books with a political background, but Why They Stay was a fun and entertaining read. I imagine the research for this book was addictive, because gathering information and insight as to who these women really were and the reasons for their choices would be compelling. I almost hate to use the word entertaining when discussing my reasons for enjoying this book, but it fits my feelings. I always held assumptions as to why a woman would remain married to these men who became political jokes with their scandalous behaviors. We all like to think we know what we would do in their situation. But do we really? I feel that the author chose incredible women to write about and did a great job in keeping this book from reading like a gossip column. I found it to be informative, humorous, satisfying, and intelligent. Definitely recommend this book!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stephen R.

    Anne Michaud is a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, with a long and enormously successful career in political journalism and women's issues. She tells a story in 'Why They Stay,' based around well-researched facts, which are documented in detail with footnotes as evidence. This is a political non-fiction book with a difference, as Michaud weaves her chosen political wives together, commenting on traits they all had in common, which she believes are the basis for their decision making. This i Anne Michaud is a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, with a long and enormously successful career in political journalism and women's issues. She tells a story in 'Why They Stay,' based around well-researched facts, which are documented in detail with footnotes as evidence. This is a political non-fiction book with a difference, as Michaud weaves her chosen political wives together, commenting on traits they all had in common, which she believes are the basis for their decision making. This is a book that reveals plenty of previously unknown information about the political figures it centers around and will appeal to anyone who is interested in politics, women's issues, as well as people who enjoy reading gossip magazines. This is an informative read, skillfully written, witty, and entertaining. The real stories contained in the book are presented without bias and are full of intrigue, history, and analytical psychology.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cat on the Mat

    I really enjoyed reading this book because it truly made me think and reflect how or why any woman would or could stay with a cheating husband. This story looks into the way these women were raised from childhood and offers alternative reasoning that could lie behind their future decisions. The author has obviously done thorough research on these women and their lives which made it a very informative read for me. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has even a passing curiosity i I really enjoyed reading this book because it truly made me think and reflect how or why any woman would or could stay with a cheating husband. This story looks into the way these women were raised from childhood and offers alternative reasoning that could lie behind their future decisions. The author has obviously done thorough research on these women and their lives which made it a very informative read for me. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has even a passing curiosity into the psychology behind the complex lives of these iconic women, and I have already recommended it to my friends.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Grady

    ‘The White Queen Syndrome’ Author Anne Michaud earned her degree in Journalism from Columbia University Graduate School and serves as an award-winning writer for The Wall Street Journal. She has also written for The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Newsday, Newsweek, and Cincinnati Magazine among others. Her position in the US realm of journalism is impressive, and now she has published her first book – WHY THEY STAY – that has been honored in the arena of Women’s Issues and Current Events. Re ‘The White Queen Syndrome’ Author Anne Michaud earned her degree in Journalism from Columbia University Graduate School and serves as an award-winning writer for The Wall Street Journal. She has also written for The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Newsday, Newsweek, and Cincinnati Magazine among others. Her position in the US realm of journalism is impressive, and now she has published her first book – WHY THEY STAY – that has been honored in the arena of Women’s Issues and Current Events. Research and reportage can be informative, but Anne Michaud makes it involving and engrossing in the style and manner in which she writes. Focusing on facts, enhanced by her probing examination of data and her resultant insights, brings a fresh sense of immediacy to the ‘scandals’ she has studied. Her focus is on the women of the political pairings and she addresses these women as White Queens. As she states in her Prologue, “Our modern White Queens were prepared from early life to accept the limits and burdens of marrying men with great political ambitions. Marriage as a goal in itself – and especially marriage to an important wealthy man – is an ambition for which women have trained for centuries, and it’s what I refer to as a patriarchal mindset. In White Queen days, there was a literal patriarchy: Men ruled. Today, a remnant of this power hierarchy exists in our minds – and to some degree, in the political and corporate worlds – especially among people of privilege and social rank. Politics reinforces this mindset because it’s a tradition-bound world…Couples who enter the political world are at least comfortable with its underlying culture and assumptions, and that comfort deepens over the years they remain in politics…’ After presenting her case for the traits of the wives whose lives and standings she addresses, this impressively written book examines the full facts about the marriages of Jackie and John F. Kennedy, Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Hilary and Bill Clinton, Silda Wall and Eliot Spitzer, Wendy and David Vitter, Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner, and UK couples Valerie Hobson and Jack Profumo, Marion Stein and Jeremy Thorpe, and Israeli couple Gila and Moshe Katsav. The facts are related as history: the insights and thoughts result in psychobiographies! This is information to grasp, to digest, and to appreciate the stature of the women behind the thrones in a manner few authors can equal. The book deserves the awards earned and further honors Anne Michaud’s high standing in the spectrum of journalism!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lenor

    WHY THEY STAY by Anne Michaud So I´ve gone outside my comfort zone to read this one, I felt intrigued about the tittle, we hear every once in a while sex scandals in politics, there´s always some news to follow, but what about the people living those scandals? We sometimes see this news, and think so much from their decisions as powerful men or women. But we need to understand that´s there´s so much more than meets the eye. This is what Anne Michaud is sharing with us; the lives of nine women, and WHY THEY STAY by Anne Michaud So I´ve gone outside my comfort zone to read this one, I felt intrigued about the tittle, we hear every once in a while sex scandals in politics, there´s always some news to follow, but what about the people living those scandals? We sometimes see this news, and think so much from their decisions as powerful men or women. But we need to understand that´s there´s so much more than meets the eye. This is what Anne Michaud is sharing with us; the lives of nine women, and how they choose to stay to their partners even when they are betrayed, when their life as a family or as couples is exposed for everyone to see and to judge. The way the author describes every story is amazing, all of these women share some similarities, form their childhood, to how they cope with the scandal once became public. They want status, security and privilege and they come from traditional families, where infidelity is not something to break a family, so they choose either to forgive or to have separate lives in private but in public they´re the perfect political marriage. Anne Michaud analyzes every part of their lives and is able to find some similarities between them, she calls it White Queen Syndrome, and rates every one of them regarding of their motives to stay in the marriage. Its quite interesting to see that every one of them feel that they have this duty towards the country as the perfect wife or to appear to be the perfect family and sustain their Children mental health; even though there´s no prof that to appear the perfect marriage is beneficial for the lives of the children. Its amazing how the author manages to interwine the past of this women and the reasons why they are currently living the way they keep doing. Some of them have this submitins to tradition, they´re longing for security, have this personal sense of patriotism, they feel responsible for the family and some of them maybe only the most recent, hace some ambition to build a lecagy for themselves.

  27. 4 out of 5

    J Earl

    In Why They Stay Anne Michaud presents an interesting, if not wholly convincing, theory on why these prominent women have stayed with their adulterous politician husbands. What makes the book interesting has less to do with the weak theorizing and more to do with the retelling of the stories with some details which may be new to some readers (such as myself). As for the theorizing, the "White Queen" idea, I just found the theory stretched far too thin when Michaud tried to shoehorn each and every In Why They Stay Anne Michaud presents an interesting, if not wholly convincing, theory on why these prominent women have stayed with their adulterous politician husbands. What makes the book interesting has less to do with the weak theorizing and more to do with the retelling of the stories with some details which may be new to some readers (such as myself). As for the theorizing, the "White Queen" idea, I just found the theory stretched far too thin when Michaud tried to shoehorn each and every case into the theory. There is certainly some truth to the idea but these are individuals with very different reasons for both getting into the relationship initially (which is a factor in an accurate presentation of the White Queen concept) and for staying. Everything, even in high power politics, does not always boil down to getting and keeping, at all cost, power. So I found the framing concept far less compelling than I had hoped. The books saving grace is the writing, namely the way Michaud managed to tell what has become largely gossipy stories in a way that felt less shallow than true sensationalized gossip accounts. There were points which I had been unaware of, though I have to admit to being something less than fully informed on the accounts (I generally avoid the sensationalized versions that flood the media when such a thing comes to light and once it loses its newsworthiness I have moved on also). I would recommend this to anyone interested in "power couples" and the dynamic within a relationship of two strong-willed people. It has enough gossipy feel to appeal to those simply wanting to rehash these people's misery but also has enough of an historical account feel to satisfy those of us who count this as the extent of their gossip consumption. Reviewed from a copy made available via LibraryThing.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    Couldn’t even finish this book. I’m shocked by the over 4 star rating. At first I loved the concept of the white queen. The woman that puts their family/ambitions/reputations in front of her personal feelings of an unfaithful spouse to outsmart him at his stupidity. But the more I read the book the more I realized that it was just completely ironic. This book was supposed to be preaching the strength and independence of these women despite their difficult marriages. But the author ended every ca Couldn’t even finish this book. I’m shocked by the over 4 star rating. At first I loved the concept of the white queen. The woman that puts their family/ambitions/reputations in front of her personal feelings of an unfaithful spouse to outsmart him at his stupidity. But the more I read the book the more I realized that it was just completely ironic. This book was supposed to be preaching the strength and independence of these women despite their difficult marriages. But the author ended every case study by judging and rating her level of white queen. I thought it ended up being overly critical and shallow of the women. Defeating the entire purpose of the book. If you’re looking for a book about how women overcome scum of husbands and empower themselves with a non-misogynistic narrative... well this isn’t it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Scholes

    Interesting decisions I am not going to say that each of the women made a wrong decision. I know my wife had said that if there was anything like that by me, she would be out of here or she would throw me out. It did seem that after the affairs happened/were made public, that the women threw themselves into whatever charitable/community service they had a desire to do. It also seems that, in her conclusion, the author is somewhat cynical about marriage, at least the history of it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jake Dufauchard

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