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Informative,
Insightful,
Interesting

3 reviews

The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House
by Kate Andersen Brower

Published: 2015-04-07
Hardcover : 320 pages
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Recommended to book clubs by 3 of 3 members

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 ...

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Introduction

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.

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by mollyryan (see profile) 01/27/19

 
by clearwater1 (see profile) 11/13/17

 
  "Wow"by chlene36 (see profile) 09/01/17

I really enjoyed this inside look at the lives of the First Families, and the people who serve them, and thus our country. I think everyone was portrayed mostly positive, yet honestly. It really made... (read more)

 
  "Enlightening NonFiction For White House Resident Staff"by wileygreen (see profile) 11/04/16

Great reading about behind the scenes for the resident staff at the White House. Have a positive feeling and gratefulness to the staff for their loyalty and hard work for our President and his family.... (read more)

 
  "Informative"by sisters4 (see profile) 11/04/16

I found the book to be full of insights into the White House families, those who served and cared for them, and new information about how our White House is taken care of.

 
  "This book really conveys the warm relationship that exists between occupants and staff at the "country's" house!"by thewanderingjew (see profile) 06/10/15

I really enjoyed reading this book. It is written and read in an even-tempered and easygoing style, conveying the warm, comfortable relationship shared by the staff and the occupants of the ... (read more)

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