A vivid biography of former First Lady Barbara Bush, one of the most influential and under-appreciated women in American political history.
Barbara Pierce Bush was one of the country’s most popular and powerful figures. Yet her full story has never been told.
THE MATRIARCH tells the riveting tale of a woman directly responsible for two American presidencies and for helping to define an entire political era. Written by USA TODAY’s Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page, the book is punctuated by more than 100 interviews with Bush friends and family members, hours of conversations with Mrs. Bush herself before her death, and access to her diaries that spanned decades. THE MATRIARCH will also delve into less well-known aspects of Bush’s remarkable life: as a girl in Rye, New York, she weathered criticism of her looks and weight from a disapproving mother, which left lifelong scars; as a young wife, she coped with the death of her three-year-old daughter to leukemia, a loss that defined the rest of her life; in middle age, she grappled with depression that led her to contemplate suicide; and in triumph, she became first the wife and then the mother of an American President, the only woman in history to life through both her husband’s and her son’s terms of office.
While her own political beliefs sometimes differed from her husband’s, Barbara Bush nevertheless became an astute and trusted political campaign strategist, helping him to gain the nomination and win the election. She invested herself deeply in expanding literacy programs in America, played a critical role in the end of the Cold War, and led the way for demonstrating love and compassion to victims of HIV/AIDS. With her cooperation, this book offers Barbara Bush’s last words for history — on the evolution of her party, on the role of women, on Donald Trump, and on her family’s legacy.
Barbara Bush’s accomplishments, struggles, and contributions are many. Now, Susan Page brings them all into one place in THE MATRIARCH, a book certain to cement Barbara Bush as one of the most unique and influential figures in American history.