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Edith and Woodrow: The Wilson White House (Lisa Drew Books)

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The story of the influence of the 2nd Mrs Wilson, particularly at the end of Wilson's term when he was extremely ill


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The story of the influence of the 2nd Mrs Wilson, particularly at the end of Wilson's term when he was extremely ill

30 review for Edith and Woodrow: The Wilson White House (Lisa Drew Books)

  1. 4 out of 5

    George

    A long but compelling account of the Wilson presidency, with emphasis on the role Edith played after his stroke. Fascinating look at the workings of Washington in the early 20th century.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    This book was an intimate look into the marriage of Edith and Woodrow and a look into their marriage during Woodrow's White House years. Their marriage was not a long one, but was quite an interesting one. Ellen was Woodrow's first wife - and she did much to help him grow into the role of a Presidency. Ellen enhanced Woodrow's life with Art and Literature as well as giving him 3 daughters. Joseph Tumulty, who would eventually become Woodrow's secretary during his presidency, said that Ellen was a This book was an intimate look into the marriage of Edith and Woodrow and a look into their marriage during Woodrow's White House years. Their marriage was not a long one, but was quite an interesting one. Ellen was Woodrow's first wife - and she did much to help him grow into the role of a Presidency. Ellen enhanced Woodrow's life with Art and Literature as well as giving him 3 daughters. Joseph Tumulty, who would eventually become Woodrow's secretary during his presidency, said that Ellen was a better politician than Woodrow was. Ellen had a quiet manner to her which greatly balanced Woodrow. When Ellen died, during his first term in the White House, it was said that Woodrow lost his best self when Ellen died. Losing Ellen plunged Woodrow into a serious depression - he was said not to leave bed until noon. Dr. Grayson was the one who thought to introduce Woodrow with Edith Bolling. His ultimate motive was that of one of a devoted friend rather than a physician. Seeing Woodrow in his depressed state over Ellen's passing was too much for him. Edith Bolling was also a widow herself. As War with Germany was seeming more and more possible for the United States, Woodrow's love for Edith become to the point of obsession. Edith swiftly gained Woodrow's trust and a window in the Presidency. Edith also returned Woodrow's love as no man seemed to compete with him. Before Woodrow married his new beloved there was a scandal - a Woman who Ellen also dealt with Mary Peck. Ellen accused Woodrow of "Emotionally" loving Mrs. Peck. Ellen eventually passed her off as a "family friend." Woodrow met Mrs. Peck during his trip to Bermuda. The one who tried to start the scandall was McAdoo - Woodrows son-in-law. Woodrow came clean to Edith of his relationship with Mary Peck, she needed a night to think it over and came to the decision that she and Woodrow could move forward - they were wedded on a cold December day. Woodrow's health issues seemed to take over their marriage. Woodrow was often sickly during his youth, and his marriage with Ellen. His illness only kept on going once he was married to Edith. Edith remembers one time when she was getting a massage, thinking Woodrow was asleep, was surprised when a knock came to her door saying that he was very ill and needed Dr. Grayson immediately. Dr. Grayson was very misleading in Woodrow's health saying that Woodrow suffered from exhaustion and nervous attacks. Edith only called for Dr. Grayson on the private line during the White House to avoid gossip in the White House itself. An air of secrecy engulfed the White House - truly no staff members knew what the problem was. Dr. Grayson was the first one to say that "the President is paralyzed" due to a stroke Woodrow's left side was gone. Dr. Decrum was another doctor who also observed Woodrow and supposedly gave Edith advice. Dr. Decrum's advice was to have every issue come to Edith and to have Edith weigh the importance of each issue, only the most important issues should be brought to Woodrow's attention. Edith was the one who also communicated with secretaries, senators and congressmen on the issues of the Country. Edith showed no hesitation in her new role. It was very well understood that no one could even communicate with Woodrow without going through Edith. Woodrow was also very depressed mentally throughout his whole ordeal. He just wasn't dealing with the after effects of a stroke, he was also dealing with a nervous cough, loss of appetite and bladder issues. One notely observation of Woodrow during this time was that his life side was completely paralyzed, his left hand become claw like, the left side of his face sagged and was very hard to understand. The few meetings that were allowed were heavily supervised by Edith and Dr. Grayson and was very much staged - his left hand hidden most of the time. Woodrow was also quite bitter. When Woodrow did pass, Edith took to Widowhood like a fish took to water. She was said to visit his grace at least 2 times a week. She was a huge part of his legacy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This is a biography with a narrow focus: the relationship of Woodrow Wilson and his second wife, Edith Bolling Galt, and her actions during his illness while in the White House. The author, Phyllis Lee Levin, has read and quotes from a multitude of memoirs, books, letters, official papers, newspaper and magazine articles from the time. Observations and comments of the Wilsons' contemporaries, friends as well as enemies, are often quoted. Ms. Levin does not hold back from drawing her own conclusi This is a biography with a narrow focus: the relationship of Woodrow Wilson and his second wife, Edith Bolling Galt, and her actions during his illness while in the White House. The author, Phyllis Lee Levin, has read and quotes from a multitude of memoirs, books, letters, official papers, newspaper and magazine articles from the time. Observations and comments of the Wilsons' contemporaries, friends as well as enemies, are often quoted. Ms. Levin does not hold back from drawing her own conclusions and offering (fairly strong)opinions as to the character and motivations of her two subjects. The research seems exhaustive, and I must assume the historical picture is accurate. At the end, I am not completely convinced that she has proved her case, and a case she does have: that Edith was the first woman president. It was interesting to read that even today, the problem of how to handle incapacity in a sitting President has not been resolved. With Wilson, Ms. Levin remarks that they protected Wilson as if they thought they were protecting the office itself. And when the Reagan presidency faced challenges after his shooting, even with the 25th amendment, there are still questions as to what to do. Very interesting for history buffs and worth the time investment.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    A tad dense....but then much of history tends to be written this way....but if you want a look how 20th century America evolved, read about Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt. There's another biography of Wilson....entitled "Wilson" that I read last year that is far more flattering than this book but neither paints Congress in a good light. We pay far too little attention in this country to those who sit in Congress or in our state houses. If we were more adamant about decent behavior and it being about A tad dense....but then much of history tends to be written this way....but if you want a look how 20th century America evolved, read about Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt. There's another biography of Wilson....entitled "Wilson" that I read last year that is far more flattering than this book but neither paints Congress in a good light. We pay far too little attention in this country to those who sit in Congress or in our state houses. If we were more adamant about decent behavior and it being about the people, rather than personal pettiness, we'd be a better nation for it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    An incredibly interesting account of the Wilson presidency with second wife Edith as a major player perhaps even a Mrs. President for the 18 months or even more of Wilson's incapcitating illness during his second term. Even more riveting is that he did not meet with his cabinet for 7 months during the time the world was trying to end WWI and get on with life. All correspondence was through Mrs. Wilson, or his physican or his secretary. An excellent account of this time period.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Warren

    A brilliant expose of how an obsessively devoted wife in collaboration with the President’s physician conspired to hide the true details of President Wilson’s debilitating illness from the country and the world and, perhaps, changed the course of history. An object lesson in how media manipulation and thwarting official transparency can cheat the public of truths and mock the democratic process.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gregr209

    This was a hard book to get through but I am glad I did. Very interesting look into the life of Wilson before and after his stroke while in office. Edith pretty much was our first female President.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Very interesting angle to report. Hadn't heard the story before, so I liked the story although it dragged in parts. I wonder if that situation would be probable given today's media.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Very scary to realize how one person who was not elected (his wife) had so much control in our government during Wilson's presidency.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Edward

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  12. 4 out of 5

    Susan Morris

  13. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Higgins

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Schultz

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Kurtz

  16. 5 out of 5

    Charles Schwartz

  17. 4 out of 5

    SkipO

  18. 4 out of 5

    Glenda

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ann

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ari

  21. 5 out of 5

    Susan Whelan

  22. 4 out of 5

    John Schaffhausen

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marsha Grady

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ray

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elsie James

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michael Reed

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sara Webster

  28. 4 out of 5

    Belinda

  29. 4 out of 5

    Peggy

  30. 4 out of 5

    L. Hager

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