First ladies are supposed to be dignified background figures, quietly supportive of their husbands' agendas. Above all, they're not supposed to act out or cause even a whiff of scandal. Of course, reality often overrides conventional wisdom, and this book shows how far from the prim ideal many of the Presidents' wives have strayed. Part irreverent portrait gallery, part exuberant expose, Feisty First Ladies and Other Unforgettable White House Women introduces a remarkable array of wild women, from Martha Washington, who opposed her own husband's presidential election; to Abraham Lincoln's eccentric wife, Mary; to rebellious daughters like Patti Davis who were the tabloid fodder of their day. Laugh-out-loud funny and filled with amazing stranger-than-fiction facts from our American history, Feisty First Ladies journeys into the realm of the eclectic sisterhood whose outrageous words and deeds have rocked the fusty old foundations of the White House — and the nation!
Autumn Stephens was born in a New Mexico mining community whose population began to dwindle shortly after her arrival (though she swears this was mere coincidence) and finally faded from the map altogether. She spent the rest of her childhood in Eugene, Oregon. Initially, she intended to become a psychologist, but when she noticed that her introductory psych classes at Stanford University tended to focus on the behavior of rats rather than that of human beings, she signed up as a Creative Writing major instead. During several subsequent years as an afterhours creative writer;daytime wageslave, Stephens worked as a medical coder, a phone sex script writer, a composer of fraudulent Tarot prognostications, and something called a "special investigator" for the State Bar of California. More than any other experience, however, her stint as an oldfashioned legal secretary (among other absurdities, the job involved the daily composition of a hearthealthy salad for a highmaintenance male boss) honed the deliciously snide feminist sensibility which informs Stephens' writing today. (Well, okay, growing up more or less concurrently with the women's movement of the 1960s and 1970s helped too.) Stephens is the author of the popular Wild Women books published by Conari Press, including Wild Women, Wild Women in the White House, Wild Words from Wild Women, Loose Cannons, Drama Queens, and Out of the Mouths of Babes. Stephens also freelances for magazines, reviews women's writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, and enjoys an entirely attorneyfree lifestyle. Currently, she lives in Berkeley, Californiaa city which she would like better were it not for an uncharacteristically restrictive ordinance against raising miniature pigs in one's backyard. Her hobbies are sleeping and reading trashy celebrity magazines.