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The Smithsonian First Ladies Collection by Lisa Kathleen Graddy & Amy Pastan

I know it's been a while since I posted a review.  I was reading a book, and it took forever and a day.  Okay, really it took most of February, but I finally finished it, and that review is forthcoming.  I was flipping through my notebook, and I found the notes for this book review that I'd forgotten about and hadn't posted yet.  So here it is!

I saw an ad for this book in Smithsonian magazine, and I thought, hmmm.  That sounds interesting.  The library now has a copy of The Smithsonian First Ladies Collection, and if you have an interest in presidential history, women's history, or fashion history, I recommend you check out this book.  You won't regret it.

The book contains a brief history of the collection as well as an overview that includes photos of selected items in the collection, such as gowns, jewelry, china, and other memorabilia, including photo copies of the invitations for two weddings that took place in the White House.  Photos of each first lady's gown are accompanied by a brief biography and overview of her accomplishments while her husband was in office.  It should be noted that not every first lady is represented in the collection or at least they are not represented in the book.  This is because the collection does not have gowns for every woman who served as first lady (I think that was reason; I read this book a while ago, so I could be assuming this is the reason...).  There is also a brief description of each gown and usually the occasion on which the gown was worn is also shared as well.

This is an interesting book and one that you will want to really study the photos of each gown.  In fact, the high quality photos of the gowns are the best parts of the book.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie


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