Keeping Up Appearances

The First Ladies conduct their own diplomatic minuet

It was billed as "Style Wars" and "Tea and Empathy." Nancy Reagan, the polished Southern California socialite, and vivacious Raisa Gorbachev, the uniquely style-conscious Soviet First Lady, were advertised as going coiffure to coiffure in a well-scripted spate of public relations appearances while their husbands went eyeball to eyeball over substance behind closed doors. In fact, while the women generated little real warmth in private discussions, they nevertheless displayed a dignity that transcended the much hyped designer-dress face-off. Pressed by a reporter about style-wars comparisons, Nancy Reagan aptly retorted: "I really think that's a little silly. I mean there are very...

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