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The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House

May 23, 2016

Good gossip! Here’s a book chock-full of juicy tidbits about the Presidential families, going all the way back to the Truman administration. You'll get to witness first-hand the details of life in the White House during some of its most tense and historical moments: the assassination of President Kennedy, the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the Nixon disgrace and resignation, the Clinton sex scandal, told by those who saw the events unfold. These stories add another layer of interest to what we learned about these events through the news media.

Kate Brower spent four years covering the Obama White House for Bloomberg News and is a former CBS News staffer and Fox News producer (back flap). She offers a group portrait of the dedicated professionals who run the White House—butlers, ushers, chefs, maids, nannies—the “back stairs” folks whose intimacy with the members of the First Families provide an engaging and spirited look into the private world of some of the world’s most public people.

Did you ever wonder what happened to Amy Carter or Chelsea Clinton once inside the White House’s protective shell? The children of Presidents and their lives as private persons are seen in a new light; the reader is invited in, mostly after the fact, to explore the world of the White House when children and teenagers were, and are, occupying it. From the Kennedy children to the daughters of Presidents Johnson and Nixon (who had White House weddings), from the bong-toting sons of Jimmy Carter to the wild antics of the Bush girls and Susan Ford—all of whom were able to “escape” their Secret Service details to enjoy escapades in Washington or on the White House roof—this book provides laughter and insight into the episodes of daily life that humanize an otherwise stiff and formal setting.

After reading this book, you feel as though the private family quarters of the White House have been on display, as well as the flower shop, kitchens, and even the locker room where the butlers and ushers ready themselves for work. A fast read, this book also contains two sets of photographs of First Family events and vivid descriptions of the famous rooms we’ve all heard of but perhaps have never seen—the Blue Room, the Lincoln bedroom, the East Room, the Yellow Oval Room and the second and third floors where the First Family is able to kick off its shoes and be at home.

Yukon Cornelius avatar


Paul Smethers, a former high school English teacher, is an Associate with the Adult Services Team at Main. His special interests are poetry, ghost stories, and the French Bourbon dynasty.


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