Lady First The World of First Lady Sarah Polk

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The acclaimed author of A Wicked War now gives us the little known story of Sarah Polk: remarkably influential First Lady, and brilliant master of the art of high politics—a crucial but unrecognized figure in the history of American feminism.

At the same time as the Woman's Rights convention was taking place at Seneca Falls in 1848, First Lady Sarah Childress Polk was wielding influence unprecedented for a woman. Yet, while history remembers the women of the convention, it has all but forgotten Sarah Polk.

Now, Amy Greenberg brings her story into vivid focus. We see her father raising her on the frontier to discuss politics and business as an equal with men. We see her use savvy and charm to help her brilliant but unlikeable husband ascend to the White House. And we see her exercising truly extraordinary power as First Lady: quietly manipulating elected officials, shaping foreign policy, directing a campaign in support of America's expansionist war against Mexico. Greenberg makes clear that though the Polk marriage was a partnership of equals, Sarah firmly opposed the feminist movement's demands for then-far-reaching equality.

A riveting biography—and a revelation of Sarah Polk's complicated but essential part in American feminism.


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