Betty Ford: First Lady, Women's Advocate, Survivor, Trailblazer

by Lisa McCubbin

Hardcover, 2018




Gallery Books (2018), Edition: Illustrated, 432 pages


An intimate and insightful biography of Betty Ford, the groundbreaking, candid, and resilient First Lady and wife of President Gerald Ford, from the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Five Presidents and Mrs. Kennedy and Me. Betty Ford: First Lady, Women's Advocate, Survivor, Trailblazer is the inspiring story of an ordinary Midwestern girl thrust onto the world stage and into the White House under extraordinary circumstances. Setting a precedent as First Lady, Betty Ford refused to be silenced by her critics as she publicly championed equal rights for women, and spoke out about issues that had previously been taboo--breast cancer, depression, abortion, and sexuality. Privately, there were signs something was wrong. After a painful intervention by her family, she admitted to an addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs. Her courageous decision to speak out publicly sparked a national dialogue, and in 1982, she co-founded the Betty Ford Center, which revolutionized treatment for alcoholism and inspired the modern concept of recovery. Lisa McCubbin also brings to light Gerald and Betty Ford's sweeping love story: from Michigan to the White House, until their dying days, their relationship was that of a man and woman utterly devoted to one another other--a relationship built on trust, respect, and an unquantifiable chemistry. Based on intimate in-depth interviews with all four of her children, Susan Ford Bales, Michael Ford, Jack Ford, and Steven Ford, as well as family friends, and colleagues, Betty Ford: First Lady, Women's Advocate, Survivor, Trailblazer is a deeply personal, empathic portrait of an outspoken First Lady, who was first and foremost a devoted wife and mother. With poignant details and rare insight, McCubbin reveals a fiercely independent woman who had a lively sense of humor, unwavering faith, and an indomitable spirit--the true story behind one of the most admired and influential women of our time.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member bemislibrary
Most times, the spouse of a United States President is overshadowed with their lives examined only in context of a campaign or presidential term. The authors recognize the uniqueness of Elizabeth “Betty” Anne Bloomer Ford. This autobiography follows Betty as a young adult in Grand Rapids, Michigan up through her death on July 8, 2011 in Rancho Mirage, California. This well-documented tone dusted off the political sheen to reveal the trials and tribulations of balancing parenthood with addictions and advocacy. A fascinating look at a woman whose journey and married name would become a symbol of hope and recovery.… (more)
LibraryThing member JanaRose1
This is a biography of Betty Ford - dancer, wife, mother, advocate, addict and survivor. It briefly outlines her childhood and then details her romance with Gerald Ford. Together, the two moved to D.C., where Ford served first in Congress and later in the White House. It tells how Betty began taking pills under doctor's guidance while drinking a cocktail or two at night. It also details the family's intervention and Betty's struggle with sobriety.

What a character! I knew nothing about Betty Ford before picking up this book. I was inspired by her unflinching honesty and willingness to put first her cancer scare and then her addition on center stage. The book was will written and well paced. I found myself reading late into the night. 5 out of 5 stars.
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Original language


Physical description

9 inches


1501164686 / 9781501164682
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