The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991

Book Reviews

The book is thoroughly researched in the Long and Caraway papers
and utilizes Caraway's journal, contemporary newspapers, and per-
sonal interviews. Lively if not profound, more anecdotal than analytical,
it will be of more interest to general readers than to scholars. A defini-
tive account of a minor incident in Long's career, it will entertain Loui-
sianians, Arkansans, and students of the depression era.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee GLEN JEANSONNE
Fzrst Ladies of Arkansas: Women of Thezr Times. By Anne McMath. (Little
Rock: August House Publishers, 1989. Pp. 264. Acknowledgments,
foreword, introduction, photographs, index. $24.95-)
While popular and historical attention during the past decade has
been focused on the achievements and controversies of such national
first ladies as Eleanor Roosevelt, Lady Bird Johnson, and Nancy Reagan,
the wives of state governors have remained a neglected subject in the
history of American women. Since the mid-197os, however, governors'
wives have demonstrated increasing activism and visibility. The Guber-
natorial Spouses Seminar that they formed in 1985 offers the prospect
of a collective impact in the future. Yet only a brief pamphlet exists on
their experience during this century, and the researcher must rely on
individual state histories for basic information about them. To that
small shelf now can be added Anne McMath's attractive and informa-
tive guide to the First Ladies of Arkansas.
McMath's book replaces the outdated and inadequate volume by
Peggy Jacoway that carried the same title when it was published in
1941. McMath deals with all the thirty-six first ladies of the state down
to the current occupant of the position, Hillary Rodham Clinton. A se-
ries of tables at the outset provides important biographical data about
these women and their husbands. Interesting sketches of the women
themselves comprise the body of the volume. These entries vary in
length and available information, but they all do something to bring
their subjects into clearer historical perspective. Anne Roark Brough,
for example, the first lady from 1917 to 1921, seems a promising candi-
date for further inquiry because of her support for woman suffrage
and her volunteer work during World War I.
A first lady herself from 1949 to 1953, McMath provides an ex-
tended memoir of her own experience that enhances the book's value.
The material regarding the more recent first ladies indicates the ac-
tivism that Alta Faubus brought to the Head Start program in the state
and the energy that Betty Bumpers supplied to a national immuniza-
tion program during the 197os. Hillary Clinton currently combines a
law practice with service in such posts as chair of the Educational Stan-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101214/. Accessed December 18, 2014.