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FLOTUS

Sacred and Complex, Amy Bloom’s ‘White Houses’ Chronicles First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s Secret Affair

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One of the highlights of my year, thus far, was interviewing bestselling author, Amy Bloom about her new book, White Houses. Released in time for Valentine’s Day (February 13, Penguin Random House) with rave reviews from the likes of Joyce Carol Oates, White Houses is a love story about a complex affair steeped in our history between a First Lady and a woman— a journalist— that spanned more than three decades. Bloom’s novel is based on the real-life love affair between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena “Hick” Hickok. This story about to women in love is wrought with obvious challenges given the times— when same-sex relationships and extramarital affairs were taboo.  Add substantial class differences between the women and therein lies a story…

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‘First, Be a Lady:’ The Impact of FLOTUS on American Politics

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Political scientists have failed to recognize the political importance of the president’s spouse. While the evolving role of the first lady over time from White House hostess to presidential advisor has been documented in historical narratives and news articles, the tremendous responsibility placed on her office to communicate the president’s message and shape his public image has received little attention according to Lauren A. Wright, Ph.D. in her book ON BEHALF OF THE PRESIDENT: Presidential Spouses and White House Communications Strategy Today. This responsibility has increased markedly in the last three presidential administrations, illustrated by the fact that Michelle Obama made more speeches and major public appearances in her first six years in office than any first lady in history.…

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From Obama to Trump (and Everything in Between): 2017 Election Day New Releases

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Since last November, Presidential politics and elections have been on everyone’s mind. Regardless of which side of the political aisle you fall, each of us has pondered the future of American politics and whether or not our democracy can withstand the impact of foreign intrusion and maintain its integrity for future generation. As voting citizens, we have the right to explore our political options and vote for the candidate we best see fit to lead our nation.  However, much can be learned from critical analysis and study of the political process. Today is yet another election day, and we will once again be deciding the very fate of the union. The majority of the races are for local candidates, but…

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Picturing Hope: White House Photographer Pete Souza’s ‘Intimate Portrait’ of President Obama

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“They called him analytical and cerebral. But the lasting impression of Barack Obama’s presidency is deeply human and emotional. This is his legacy.” ~ Scott Snowman, January 18, 2017 in The Prompt White House photographers are not just taking pictures; they are documenting history and preserving a legacy.  Whatever your political views, there is one thing that will not change about the Barack Obama presidency: he was the nation’s first African American elected to the highest office in the land.  This was a hard-won feat that many, particularly those who grew up during the era of Jim Crow, never believed would see accomplished in their lifetime. But it did and everything else that followed was equally historic. Now, a year…

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