The Residence

The Residence

Inside the Private World of the White House

Downloadable Audiobook - 2015
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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.

Publisher: New York :, Harper,, [2015]
ISBN: 9780062373892
Branch Call Number: Online Audio Book
Characteristics: 1 sound file :,digital
audio file, rda
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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j
jquick99
Jan 09, 2019

I couldn’t finish.

Author spends too much time telling the reader over and over again about the dedication and discretion of the staff, and how they respect the privacy of the first families, yet, here is a book full of stories/gossip.

How many times are we told that there are 2 “secret” mezzanine levels? It’s as though
the author cut and pasted from various sources, then just put it all together without proof reading. It’s a disorganized jumble of stories.

What saddened me was all the references that the staff thought they were friends with the president or first family. One woman thought she had a personal relationship with Nancy Reagan cuz she wrapped her gifts/presents. One person thought she was friends with Barbara Bush, cuz she ended an email with “love”.

And then there’s the irritation that the president/first family are all wayyy too pampered and demanding. Too many outlandish requests that should be responded with “Ok, but first give me your credit card.” .

I think daily fresh cut flowers aren’t needed, but add in the demand of a certain out of season type that needs to be flown in from Europe...and we all are paying for this? And GASP if one should fall over onto the table!

The book is just filled with demanding requests and the servants scampering about trying to fulfill them (all in our dime). Grrr.

b
bspringston
Nov 15, 2016

It's interesting to hear about the different jobs there are at the White House that I would never have thought of, but it's very depressing to hear over and over about the ridiculous things the First Families would demand. What it boils down to is a political celebrity tell-all. By the 4th disk, I couldn't stand listening to it anymore. Yes, there are some heartwarming stories about the staff interaction with the First Families, but you can only listen to stores of the LBJ bathroom demands, and Nancy Reagan' obsessive perfectionism just so long.

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