The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House

The Residence Inside the Private World of the White House 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

  • Title: The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House
  • Author: Kate Andersen Brower
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 239
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • 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.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.

    One thought on “The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House”

    1. Eh. Quick, easy read. Brower did a great job at showing first families as real, genuine people. Also at making one dislike the Clintonsl of them. Having said that the author also manages to annoy beyond belief by constantly (and I mean every-other-paragraph-constantly) reminding the reader of the humble nobility and unassailable righteousness of the WH residence staff. For someone peddling a book whose very selling premise is the "inside scoop" she can't help be keep reminding the reader how the [...]

    2. This book was an interesting read, but the author hopped all over the place when telling stories so it was hard to follow. A couple of times, I felt I had already read the same "story." Having said that, I enjoyed the stories and learning which first couples were enjoyed by the White House staff and who they didn't particularly care for. This book has peaked my interesting in reading some of the biography books written by past maids, butlers, and ushers!

    3. This was on my library's featured new books shelf so I picked it up on a whim. Rather to my surprise I polished it off in an evening and really enjoyed it. It's all about life in the White House as seen through the eyes of the incredibly dedicated, hard-working staff who make the beds, dust the thousands of museum pieces, pack the immaculately laundered shirts, lay out the suits, fix and serve the meals (from state dinners to chili at 2 AM) and cater to the whims of Presidents, First Ladies and [...]

    4. I recently read JB West's memoir of life as the chief usher in the White House for Presidents FDR - Nixon (briefly). I eagerly picked up The Residence hoping for a continuation of that.In many ways, that is what I got. This is a sort of collective memoir of the domestic staff of the White House for Presidents JFK - Obama.The thing is, though This book was sort of a mess. I really enjoyed all the accounts of White House life. It was very unique to weave so many stories together. But the organizat [...]

    5. There are so many fascinating and wonderful stories in this book. I have been worrying my brain over which ones to tell.This book is about the people who lived and worked in the White House from the Kennedy's to the Obama's. It's not a gossipy tell all about the first families although there are some very riveting tales about certain Presidents and First Ladies. It's mostly about the members of the staff and their utter devotion to their work. A devotion that left many in the staff divorced. The [...]

    6. At first this book appears to be nothing more than what you could get on an hour long PBS special, but after a slow start it does begin to reveal several interesting tidbits about both the first families and what working in the White House is really like. I gathered that there is usually a strict code of silence between the White House staff and the outside world, which often persists until long after they retire. They talk to almost no one, but many of them spoke to this author, that alone make [...]

    7. I am an avid consumer of politics and information about our 44 presidents. When I discovered this book written by Kate Andersen Brower, I knew it would be a fascinating read. Ms. Brower gathered material for this book by combing the archives and by interviewing scores of White House staff members. The anecdotes revealed through these interviews were funny and poignant and even sad; and I realized that the stories Ms. Brower obtained were no small feat as it became clear that the most cherished a [...]

    8. Entertaining indeed, this was an intriguing peek at goings on in the White House over several recent administrations. As the author successfully interviewed numerous staff members, she was able to provide a surprisingly human perspective on many towering familiar public figures. Although the workers behind the scenes are fiercely discrete (and must be by nature), bits were divulged, sometimes years later, which are very telling. Particularly fascinating to me was what was related with regard to [...]

    9. Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Very, very interesting and informative. Enjoyed the insight into how the Presidents and first families treated, and interacted with the White House staff, and how staff felt about them, and why they felt the way they did.It is amazing what all is required from staff, and the hours they put in. They are not paid even close to what they deserve to be paid.I was also surprised to learn that the First Family pays for all their groceries out of their own money, except fo [...]

    10. Very appropriate to finish this book on the eve of a significant transition of new leadership. Shall I put the words "new leadership" in quotations? Perhaps. I cried at the beginning of this book for how much the first families and staff respected the White House, and cried at the end of this book for what might be lost these next four years. So much detail. So much respect for the House, the leadership, the office and the first families. A fascinating perspective, as told by the many employees [...]

    11. 2.5 stars, a mildly interesting book about the staff who manage the White House. There are almost 100 full-time employees, plus lots more part-time staff: cooks, florists, butlers, maids, plumbers, secretaries, etc.The author jumps around between presidencies, offering stories about the relationship between the First Families and the residence staff, from the Kennedys through the Obamas. The current and former employees were reluctant to share negative impressions (not wanting to imperil their j [...]

    12. I rarely buy books when they are first released (mainly because, with my book addiction, I would be broke!), but as soon as I read about this one in the Washington Post, I knew I had to read it immediately. I am fascinated by stories about the inner workings of all aspects of the government, and this one seemed like it would provide a fresh perspective. Moreover, it promised to deliver inside stories about how the White House functions on a daily basis. As someone who grew up in the Northern Vir [...]

    13. What a fun, fun, FUN book! I love everything relating to politics and presidents and DC and this was like listening to two people gossip, snippets here and there about different things they'd heard about different people and events in the White House. I know it wasn't put together that well, it jumped around a ton, flitted back and forth between presidents and time frames and it was hard to keep track. Still really fun though, and a five star for me just because it's what I love.

    14. An enjoyable book about the White House residence staff. There are many fascinating anecdotes, but don't expect a Kitty Kelley like expose. Although some of the stories shared were not all favorable, we do get a fairly balanced view of the famous temporary occupants of the White House. Despite their quirks and gaffes, Presidents and their families were human. Wouldn't want to have worked for Nancy Reagan, though. Yeesh!

    15. I would overall rate this book 4.5 stars. I got this as an audiobook and loved hearing the story. I do wish that it wasn't all over the place. But I imagine this was done in a way that the many men and women told their story in that particular chapters category.

    16. I found this book really interesting. I especially liked when the personal stories would tie into huge historical events; Iran hostage crisis, Kennedy assassination, and 9/11.

    17. This book is basically a homage to the working people who staff the White House: the plumbers, butlers, electrians, housekeepers, the guy who keeps track of the dishes, and many more. They were and are almost all totally dedicated to the people they serve and anyone who is a guest in the White House. They do not become wealthy serving in the White House, many work part time and have other full time jobs. The value of the book is its focus on these people and what it takes to keep the White House [...]

    18. This was a Book Club Selection for April at my local library. I put off reading it until the last minute mainly because I thought it would be dry. It was not.The first thing I'd say is that it is a very readable book. Very easy to read and I love that Ms. Brower didn't offer her own opinions or try to speak for the men and women she interviewed.Even after having been to the White House and been on the tour, I had no idea what goes into running such a huge house, and I also had no idea exactly ho [...]

    19. I’m not an American, but I couldn’t wait to read this book. I mean, who wouldn’t be curious about what happens inside the White House. Honestly, I never gave a second thought to the going ons of this residence, but when the opportunity presented itself to get a glimpse into the private lives of the first families who have lived there, I just couldn’t resist.I had no expectations of this book, because I didn’t know what to expect. I was intrigued from the start and every time I put it d [...]

    20. Most of these staff members dedicate their lives to working in this house to such an extent they oftentimes sacrifice their marriages and time with their children to serve the president and his family with such utter devotion. It’s just incredible. I’ve learned so many things I never would’ve imagined going on behind those walls.Overall, this was a surprisingly good read. If you’re looking for dirt and spilled secrets about the first families who’ve lived in, and are currently living i [...]

    21. This book was fascinating for two reasons: White House gossip, obviously, and the view of race and class in domestic service that emerges from this group portrait of the people involved over several decades. I was glad that the author clearly set out to give voice to the staff, and to present such a respectful and admiring look at their work, which is deliberately intended to be invisible to the public. It was also fun to read what they had to say about their employers -- staff are paid by the F [...]

    22. Jak si žijí první rodiny v Bílém domě? Neříkejte, že vás to nikdy nenapadlo. Kate Andersen Browerová poskládala z vyprávění sloužících v sídle amerických prezidentů obrázek obyčejných i neobyčejných chvil, které prožili jeho nájemníci. Nečekejte ale bulvár a klepy na každé straně. Vlastně je kniha až přespříliš pozitivní a trochu falešně vyšperkovaná. Ne, že bych autorku obviňovala z toho, že některé informace přikrášluje nebo zatajuje, spí [...]

    23. Some pesky editing issues aside, this was fascinatinga little history, a little juicy gossip- it has it all. Loved it. I highly recommend this one. My first 5 star read of the year!

    24. You will love this book if you are interested in the history of the presidents and life in the White House from the Kennedys to the Obamas. I found it fascinating and full of surprises. The magnitude of what it takes to run the White House and take care of the first family is unbelievable.

    25. Okay, I really enjoyed this book. Everywhere I turn, I seem to read about Washington and politicians (all of them) and cringe. Watched "House of Cards" and that made me feel even worse about DC. (I understand it is fiction, but my guess is it is based on some truth. Ick.)This book profiled some incredible people who take utmost pride in caring for the White House itself and those who are lucky enough or unlucky enough (depending on the day) to live in it. They don't take pride in being divisive [...]

    26. I LOVED the first half of the book which contained the really interesting tidbits about various first families. To be clear - none of this gossip is the kind of dirty laundry we filthy minded are so drawn to. The White House staff are very good at keeping the best stuff to themselves. Still, there are some fun little stories that help bestow an overall feeling of each family and what they were like. While reading this book and for days after I found myself spouting off the new trivia I learned t [...]

    27. An engaging read and important historical document that features the recollections and stories of White House staffers who have served the WH and its famous tenants from the Kennedy years all the way through the Obama. This peek inside one of the most important places on Earth, lovingly assembled by Kate Anderson Brower, reminds us of the immense privileges and pressures that come along with living in the White House. From president to president, the WH staff stays on, sometimes staying long eno [...]

    28. Lyndon Johnson had a White House staffer wash his feet and cut his toenails. That's an example of the kind of 'beyond the call of duty' attention the residents of the White House receive while they have temporary possession of the world's most famous home, as revealed in The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House. Kate Anderson Brower spoke to dozens of ex-White House staffers who tell tales about life in the executive mansion — but not too many tales. White House staff, even y [...]

    29. This was my book club's pick, and another example of why I like being part of this book club - I probably would never have chosen to read this book except for book club, and it was an interesting book.Brower exhaustively interviewed former and current members of the White House staff, and read books and articles and interviews with staff members, to write this book which gives a peek into life at the White House. The book provides surprises - during the inauguration ceremony, the staff at the Wh [...]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *