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The President's House: A First Daughter…

The President's House: A First Daughter Shares the History and Secrets of…

by Margaret Truman

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I love this book. It would appeal to any history buff or historian. It shows the personal side of history for the First families and for the others who served them, either the servants or the White House Staff. I have read the book several times over the nine years that I have owned it. ( )
  Shermie2014 | Jan 21, 2014 |
Interesting apart from the mispronounced words ( )
  Gilli | Aug 17, 2007 |
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Ms. Truman, daughter of Harry S, takes us on an historical tour of the Executive Mansion, from a variety of perspectives. It's a fascinating history, full of anecdotes, trivia, personal memories and histories of the people who lived and worked there, how they lived, and sometimes even why.

Rather than go historically, president by president, or family by family, she divides her stories topically. From the physical history of the building and grounds to White House pets, each segment adds a little more color and detail. Ms. Truman's enthusiasm and affection for the house, from its history to its staff, is evident in each retelling.

My only reservation is her obvious personal dislike for some of the House's former occupants, particularly those of the "Yankee" persuasion. Her repeated references to her beloved home state of Missouri make it clear she thinks regionally. She also uses her editorial license to return fire at some of the less flattering newspaper comments that were made about her during her years in the White House.

These flaws are minor enough that they don't spoil the overall sense of the book as an affectionate look at all the things that have made the White House a temporary home for over 40 families.
added by PLReader | editGather, Erika S. (Nov 30, 2007)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345472489, Paperback)

As Margaret Truman knows from firsthand experience, living in the White House can be exhilarating and maddening, alarming and exhausting–but it is certainly never dull. Part private residence, part goldfish bowl, and part national shrine, the White House is both the most important address in America and the most intensely scrutinized. In this splendid blend of the personal and historic, Margaret Truman offers an unforgettable tour of “the president’s house” across the span of two centuries.

Opened (though not finished) in 1800 and originally dubbed a “palace,” the White House has been fascinating from day one. In Thomas Jefferson’s day, it was a reeking construction site where congressmen complained of the hazards of open rubbish pits. Andrew Jackson’s supporters, descending twenty thousand strong from the backwoods of Kentucky and Tennessee, nearly destroyed the place during his first inaugural. Teddy Roosevelt expanded it, Jackie Kennedy and Pat Nixon redecorated it. Through all the vicissitudes of its history, the White House has transformed the characters, and often the fates, of its powerful occupants.

In The President’s House, Margaret Truman takes us behind the scenes, into the deepest recesses and onto the airiest balconies, as she reveals what it feels like to live in the White House. Here are hilarious stories of Teddy Roosevelt’s rambunctious children tossing spitballs at presidential portraits–as well as a heartbreaking account of the tragedy that befell President Coolidge’s young son, Calvin, Jr. Here, too, is the real story of the Lincoln Bedroom and the thrilling narrative of how first lady Dolley Madison rescued a priceless portrait of George Washington and a copy of the Declaration of Independence before British soldiers torched the White House in 1814.

Today the 132-room White House operates as an exotic combination of first-class hotel and fortress, with 1,600 dedicated workers, an annual budget over $1 billion, and a kitchen that can handle anything from an intimate dinner for four to a reception for 2,400. But ghosts of the past still walk its august corridors–including a phantom whose visit President Harry S Truman described to his daughter in eerie detail.

From the basement swarming with reporters to the Situation Room crammed with sophisticated technology to the Oval Office where the president receives the world’s leaders, the White House is a beehive of relentless activity, deal-making, intrigue, gossip, and of course history in the making. In this evocative and insightful book, Margaret Truman combines high-stakes drama with the unique perspective of an insider. The ultimate guided tour of the nation’s most famous dwelling, The President’s House is truly a national treasure.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:51 -0400)

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Harry Truman's daughter offers an inside look at the history and secrets of the White House, and reveals what it is like to live in the most famous home in the world.

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