The Wall Street Journal recently asked Davidson's Mary Reynolds Babcock Professor of History Sally McMillen to write an installment of its expert recommendations column.
In "Five Best," McMillen recommended her top five biographies of American first ladies: Mary Todd Lincoln ("As a historical figure, she has not been treated with great sympathy."); Varina Davis ("During four years in the Richmond (Va.) White House, she generated public ire...."); Florence Harding ("Florence protected Warren, tolerated his many sexual liaisons and, in the end, destroyed half their personal papers."); Edith Kermit Roosevelt ("A woman of her time, Edith was ever patient and accommodating...."); and Abigail Adams (a "woman ahead of her time" who told her husband John to "remember the ladies.").
McMillen is author of Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women's Rights Movement; Motherhood in the Old South; Southern Women: Black and White in the Old South; To Raise Up the South: Sunday Schools in Black and White Churches and she co-edited books on Problems in the American South and North Carolina Women: Their Lives and Times. Her most recent book Lucy Stone: An Unapologetic Life, tells the story of a remarkable activist slighted by history.