This laudatory collection conveys first-rate analyses of how Michelle Obama embodied her extraconstitutional role as first lady of the United States (FLOTUS). Editors Harris (Stevenson Univ.) and Moffitt (Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore County) bring together contributions stressing both the uniqueness of the first African American FLOTUS and her agency in highlighting the intersectionality of gender, race, and class. Essays grapple with her physicality, as presented, perceived, and inappropriately commented on, and her self-identification as “Mom-in-Chief,” forcing a vital debate on—even a redefinition of—feminist perspectives. Several authors emphasize the role of FLOTUS in influencing policy, coupled with her ability to serve as a link to the real world for the president. Among other former first ladies, Michelle Obama enters a small cadre with her unique capacity to retain her self-professed parental role while simultaneously serving as a public representative, promoting participatory engagement among Americans through her varied campaigns. This volume presents enlightening and diverse scholarship on Michelle Obama's distinctive impact as a "public policy participant," using her own feminine rhetorical style to relate personal experience and African American experiences to all Americans and “contradict and counteract derogatory ideas and images.” Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels.
7/21/2020 - CHOICE featured this title in their collection of Editors' Picks for July. Link: http://www.choice360.org/blog/editors-picks-for-july-2020