Hidden Power

Presidential Marriages That Shaped Our History

Publisher: Anchor
Kati Marton’s bestselling Hidden Power is an engrossing look at twelve presidential marriages–from Edith and Woodrow Wilson to Laura and George W. Bush–that have profoundly affected America’s history.

Marton uncovers the behind-the-scenes dynamics of the ultimate power couples, showing how first ladies have used their privileged access to the president to influence staffing, promote causes, and engage directly in policy-making. Edith Wilson secretly ran the country after Woodrow’s debilitating stroke. Eleanor Roosevelt was FDR’s moral compass. And Laura Bush, initially shy of any public role, has proven to be the emotional ballast for her husband. Through extensive research and interviews, Marton reveals the substantial–yet often overlooked–legacy of presidential wives, providing insight into the evolution of women’s roles in the twentieth century and vividly depicting the synergy of these unique political partnerships.

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from Chapter 1

Edith and Woodrow Wilson
Fools for Love


I am absolutely dependent on intimate love for the right and free and most effective use of my powers and I know by experience . . . what it costs my work to do without it.

-Woodrow Wilson to Edith Galt, August 16, 1915

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PRAISE FOR

“Insightful. . . . Colorful. . . . A shrewd and illuminating look at the juncture where the personal and the political overlap.” –The Wall Street Journal

“Irresistible. . . . An entertaining shot of history. . . . Scores of interviews and extensive research have turned up some revealing anecdotes and shrewd insights.” –The New York Times

“Brilliant. . . . Delectable. . . . Marton has a deft hand with narrative. . . . It’s the intimate, keyhole view of these marriages that gives Hidden Power its allure.” –Newsday

“Fascinating . . . well-researched.” –The New York Times Book Review