Barbara’s Backlash

The more people talk about Barbara Bush, the more confusing grows the disjunction between the image and the woman. Two apparently contradictory threads run through her history. The first is her rigorous fealty to the gender roles of her day. And the second is the clear force of her personality—the commanding will that has been diverted and disguised, but never extinguished, by her life as the humble helpmate of George Herbert Walker Bush. The two threads of her life come together in an uneasy suspicion that she has paid a heavy price for the image she has lived.
— Marjorie Williams (1992)