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The Residence: Inside the Private World of…

The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House (2015)

by Kate Andersen Brower

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4853131,996 (3.66)17
  1. 00
    Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies by J. B. West (sweetbug)
    sweetbug: West was head butler at the White House and offers stories specifically about the modern (post-Eleanor Roosevelt) first ladies. Andersen Bower interviewed many former White House staff members (including Mr. West) and offers a larger context of staff interaction with modern presidents and First Families. Some stories overlap between the two books, but they are good companion pieces.… (more)
  2. 00
    Duell ums Weisse Haus: Amerikanische Präsidentschaftswahlen von George Washington bis 2008 by Ronald D. Gerste (ecureuil)

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5629. The Residence Inside the Private World of The White House, by Kate Andersen Brower (read 21 May 2019) This is 2015 book so it does not tell a thing about today's White House and has maybe been superseded by Bob Woodward's bool Fear: Trump in the White House, which I read 17 Nov 2018. But this book, The Residence, tells about the help who work at the White House,doing the things which enable the president and his family to concentrate on doing what he was elected to do and to enable his family endure or enjoy their time there. It tells some of the facts re FDR but more about later presidents and their families. It kind of seems to jump around and I wondered whether it might not have been better if it had been more chronological. It facially stresses how loyal and reticent the employees who work in the White House are, tight-lipped and loyal to the family living in the residence. But there is still a lot of behind the scenes information and judgments that come out. Some of the staff intensely disliked Nancy Reagan and there are accounts critical of Hillary. But usually derogatory comments are balanced by kind comments. The most kindly comments were for George H.W. Bush. The accounts relating tot JFK's assassination and of the events on Sept 11 are of high interest. There is much of human interest in the book though I suppose it not full of lasting importance ( )
  Schmerguls | May 22, 2019 |
I thought this book was fascinating. It was so interesting to read about the inner workings of the White House and what the first families are really like. I never really thought about the intricacies of the running of the house but they are extensive. As I was reading this I thought how interesting it would be to work there and all the things these workers saw that they never talked about. The epilogue was sad because several of the people who worked for Roosevelt, Kennedy, and other past administrations have died and taken their memories of those great men and women with them to the grave. Definitely worth reading!
  SWade0126 | Jan 11, 2019 |
This book offers an interesting insight into the lives of the first families of the United States. The staff who serves/served the White House families share some interesting anecdotes from their time working for the various Presidents and their families from the time of the Kennedys to the present day Obamas.

The "stories" that are related to the author are definitely entertaining. But I found it difficult to follow the logic of the presentation. I felt that the author could have better organized the book in a way that was not so confusing to the reader. Sometimes I even felt like I was hearing the same information told from a different approach. I know it had to be a great undertaking with a large quantity of facts but the formatting left a lot to be desired. ( )
  Rdglady | Nov 20, 2018 |
The Residence was an entertaining read. Since the author made such a big point of how the people who work in the White House are very discreet and do not gossip about the families they serve, I wondered how she got all the personal stories she retold in the book, but I suppose they don't mind talking once an adequate amount of time has passed. It was interesting to hear everyday details of how the house operates and even to imagine living there myself, but I tried very hard not to imagine the current occupants. In fact, over the years, staff members seemed to have more dignity and integrity and behaved better than many members of the families who temporarily occupied the Residence. It's rather comforting to know that the people who are in charge of our history and heritage have such high standards. ( )
  NMBookClub | Oct 12, 2018 |
Really interesting facts put together in a slightly schizophrenic way read a bit dully. ( )
  Kathl33n | May 22, 2018 |
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For Brooke Brower, my husband, and the one who makes me believe that anything is possible.

And for our joyous babies, Graham and Charlotte.
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Preston Bruce was sitting in his Washington, D.C., kitchen with his wife, listening to the radio and having lunch—the one meal they ate together every day—when an announcer interrupted with an urgent message: the president has been shot.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062305190, Hardcover)

A remarkable history with elements of both In the President’s Secret Service and The Butler, The Residence offers an intimate account of the service staff of the White House, from the Kennedys to the Obamas.

America’s First Families are unknowable in many ways. No one has insight into their true character like the people who serve their meals and make their beds every day. Full of stories and details by turns dramatic, humorous, and heartwarming, The Residence reveals daily life in the White House as it is really lived through the voices of the maids, butlers, cooks, florists, doormen, engineers, and others who tend to the needs of the President and First Family.

These dedicated professionals maintain the six-floor mansion’s 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, three elevators, and eight staircases, and prepare everything from hors d’oeuvres for intimate gatherings to meals served at elaborate state dinners. Over the course of the day, they gather in the lower level’s basement kitchen to share stories, trade secrets, forge lifelong friendships, and sometimes even fall in love.

Combining incredible first-person anecdotes from extensive interviews with scores of White House staff members—many speaking for the first time—with archival research, Kate Andersen Brower tells their story. She reveals the intimacy between the First Family and the people who serve them, as well as tension that has shaken the staff over the decades. From the housekeeper and engineer who fell in love while serving President Reagan to Jackie Kennedy’s private moment of grief with a beloved staffer after her husband’s assassination to the tumultuous days surrounding President Nixon’s resignation and President Clinton’s impeachment battle, The Residence is full of surprising and moving details that illuminate day-to-day life at the White House.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 14 Apr 2015 01:16:46 -0400)

"America's first families are unknowable in many ways. No one has insight into their true character like the people who serve their meals and make their beds every day. Full of stories and details by turns dramatic, humorous, and heartwarming, [this book] reveals daily life in the White House as it is really lived through the voices of the maids, butlers, cooks, florists, doormen, engineers, and others who tend to the needs of the President and first family"--Amazon.com.… (more)

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