This article examines the first ladies' autobiographies as works that reveal their author-subjects' perspectives and interpretations. Attention is focused on the White House years and, more specifically, on the author-subjects' depiction of their performance of the gender-based roles attributed to the first ladyship. Consistent patterns are identified in the autobiographers' narrative styles, with a “slant” (persuasive) narrative style predominating and a “direct” (argumentative) narrative style typically reserved to countering critics. The implications of this interpretation, for the individual first ladies and for the institution of the first ladyship, are profound.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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