Book cover of Untold Power: The Fascinating Rise and Complex Legacy of First Lady Edith Wilson  by Rebecca Boggs Robertsby Rebecca Boggs Roberts

A nuanced portrait of the first acting woman president, written with fresh and cinematic verve by a leading historian on women’s suffrage and power

While this nation has yet to elect its first woman president—and though history has downplayed her role—just over a century ago a woman became the nation’s first acting president. In fact, she was born in 1872, and her name was Edith Bolling Galt Wilson. She climbed her way out of Appalachian poverty and into the highest echelons of American power and in 1919 effectively acted as the first woman president of the U.S. (before women could even vote nationwide) when her husband, Woodrow Wilson, was incapacitated. Beautiful, brilliant, charismatic, catty, and calculating, she was a complicated figure whose personal quest for influence reshaped the position of First Lady into one of political prominence forever. And still nobody truly understands who she was.

Interview with the Author

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#700 Edith Wilson: The First Unelected Woman President – Rebecca Boggs Roberts
2/24/23           29 min

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Edith Wilson: the Seat of Untold Power with Rebecca Boggs Roberts
2/27/23           43 min

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Rebecca Boggs Roberts Unveils Edith Wilson
4/6/23          35 min

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A new biography of first lady Edith Wilson examines her political influence
3/20/23           8 min

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Rebecca Roberts, “Untold Power”
4/23/23          60 min

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America’s First Woman President?: Rebecca Boggs Roberts on Edith Wilson
3/28/23            53 min

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“Consequences for the nation had to take a back seat” A Conversation with Rebecca Boggs Roberts About Edith Wilson
5/25/23               42 min

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After Woodrow Wilson Suffered a Stroke, His Wife Edith Secretly Served As President for a Year
4/6/23            56 min

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