Thursday, April 2, 2015


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

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.

The Residence also 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.
  •  The Kennedys - from intimate glimpses of their marriage to the chaotic days after JFK's assassination.
  •     The Johnsons - featuring the bizarre saga of LBJ's obsession with the White House plumbing.
  •     The Nixons - including Richard Nixon's unexpected appearance in the White House kitchen the morning he resigned.
  •     The Reagans - from a fire that endangered Ronald Reagan late in his second term to Nancy's control of details large and small.
  •     The Clintons - whose private battles, marked by shouting matches and flying objects, unsettled residence workers.
  •  The Obamas - who danced to Mary J. Blige on their first night in the White House.
The Residence is full of surprising and moving details that illuminate day-to-day life at the White House. 


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