The President's House

A History

By William Seale
(Johns Hopkins University Press, Hardcover, 9780801885976, 1552pp.)

Publication Date: May 2008

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Description

This engaging history of the house that has served as home to U.S. presidents for more than two centuries revises and enlarges William Seale's 1986 classic account of the White House's architectural, social, and cultural history. Besides updating the original volumes, the new edition includes chapters on the presidencies of Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush. An epilogue covers the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush years. "The President's House" is an unforgettable account of the White House from its origins during the nation's beginning to today, a continuing story of adapting and altering, yet always keeping close to the original image and purpose of the landmark. Seale carefully documents the ways in which different presidents and their families used and lived in the White House, showing not only the lives of the first families but also scores of characters known and unknown who achieve importance in the story and play their parts in the keeping and management of the house--butlers, housemaids, caterers, gardeners, coachmen, architects, interior decorators, and even fortune-tellers.

Filled with behind-the-scenes glimpses of the private and public lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, this richly detailed social history includes 175 images culled from the White House files and other archival collections.

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