"Lauren Wright gives us a scholarly, rich, and thoroughly readable account of the dynamic role that First Ladies have played in the life of the U.S. presidency. A hot topic not only because one of our first ladies now seeks the presidency herself, this study is vital to understanding how the White House really works."
"Lauren Wright’s On Behalf of the President shines a scholarly light on a subject matter that largely has been left in the dark: our First Ladies. Thanks to her extensive research and her ability to make the results accessible to anyone who ever admired the first lady, readers will soon discover that these remarkable women do more than host state dinners or serve afternoon tea. Wright’s work is both historically important and culturally entertaining."
"First Ladies are popular idealizations of motherhood on a presidential pedestal. They do social good, reach out to others, and demonstrate the human side of the administration. But they are also used surreptitiously by the White House to advance the president's political and policy agenda. Lauren Wright explains the how and why of this process in an extremely well-written and provocative analysis. This book is a major contribution to our understanding of the contemporary presidency."
"Lauren Wright takes a topic that is often treated as fluff—the persona of the First Lady—and gives it the serious treatment it deserves. Her work is lively, readable, and persuasive."
"Lauren Wright brings much-needed scrutiny to the long neglected topic of modern First Ladies. Her argument—that strategists deploy presidential spouses to achieve critical policy objectives—has wide-ranging implications for understanding national politics and presidential power. Readers can never underestimate the role of First Lady again."
"With her rigorous research and careful ear for rhetoric, Lauren Wright unveils an underappreciated and undeniable force in our national conversation: First Ladies, a unique set of immensely influential and popular yet unelected political leaders. Wright’s close examination of a truth so many have overlooked reveals why it’s important for political scientists, pundits, and people who vote to remember that there’s room for two behind the bully pulpit."
"Lauren Wright has achieved that rarest of scholarly contributions: to address a deeply familiar subject (First Ladies, in this case) and indelibly shift our perspective. All readers of this beautifully crafted book will come away with an enduring appreciation of how the modern presidential spouse can both enhance a president’s image and advance White House policy priorities."
"Throughout our history, first ladies of the United States have used their unique platform to affect change and advance our society. With their proximity to power, convening authority, and high visibility they have influenced our politics, domestic policy, and global diplomacy. I applaud Lauren Wright for her excellent book, On Behalf of the President, that analyzes the evolving attitudes and expectations of this position as well as the forces that have empowered—and challenged—a first lady’s ability to shape her work and support the president and the nation."