The Residence

The Residence

Inside the Private World of the White House

eBook - 2015
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Baker & Taylor
An intimate account of White House life from the perspectives of the service staffs of the Kennedys through the Obamas details their friendships, marriages, everyday activities and elaborate state dinners. 100,000 first printing.


“Absolutely delicious.”—Washington Post

From the mystique of the glamorous Kennedys to the tumult that surrounded Bill and Hillary Clinton during the president’s impeachment to the historic tenure of Barack and Michelle Obama, each new administration brings a unique set of personalities to the White House—and a new set of challenges to the fiercely loyal and hardworking people who serve them: the White House residence staff.

In her runaway bestseller The Residence, former White House correspondent Kate Andersen Brower pulls back the curtain on the world’s most famous address. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews with butlers, maids, chefs, florists, doormen, and other staffers—as well as conversations with three former first ladies and the children of four presidents—Brower offers a group portrait of the dedicated professionals who orchestrate lavish state dinners; stand ready during meetings with foreign dignitaries; care for the president and first

lady’s young children; and cater to every need the first couple may have, however sublime or, on occasion, ridiculous.

“Superbly reported. . . . A fascinating backstage account of the world’s most famous residence.”—Judy Woodruff, anchor, PBS NewsHour and former White House Correspondent for NBC News

Publisher: New York :, Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,, [2015]
ISBN: 9780062476012
Characteristics: text file,rda
1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor


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Oct 30, 2017

Even if you think you're not all that interested in politics or presidents, it's fascinating to hear the stories of those who get things done in the most important place in the nation. The narration is amazing, meandering through history and presidents and First Ladies through the eyes of the "help" and by that I mean the people who are there to not see anything but do everything.

This is the perfect path to understanding how the first families lived and how our country's leaders view us regular people. Every president's family seems to respond to the racial/class division in a completely different way. Some seem families seem kind of like all rich, entitled people (Nancy Reagan, I'm looking at you). Other families seem like people you'd do anything for, and would love to have in your life. All the people who tell these stories are the real heroes: they are the ones who have made our country truly great.

The most humble, selfless of us are the ones whose stories we rarely hear, yet those are the best and most honest, real, memorable stories of all.

Beautifully written. Picked it up every chance I got while watching distracted toddlers. Couldn't stop, even with play-doh all over everywhere.

Feb 10, 2017

Terrific book. Great insight into a hidden world.

AL_HANNAH Jan 05, 2017

Such an amazing piece of history, that we don't really know much about.

An enlightening and entertaining glimpse into the daily workings of the White House. Firsthand accounts from many existing long time staff as well as retired staff offer unique insights into the presidential families that have resided in the White House over the past five decades.

JCLMaryanaK Nov 03, 2016

Brower's "The Residence" reveals the inner workings of the White House residence quarters told through the stories of the service staff. The narratives are informative of the many details and challenges facing both the staff and first families, many of which are surprising. Although I enjoyed a glimpse at the personalities and quirks of various presidents and first families, I would agree with other reviewers about the author's writing style being not very engaging. Still worth a read.

Oct 09, 2016

Some very interesting stories, but it's thrown together in no logical order. The ridiculously long 28-page introduction is boring and unnecessary.

Aug 16, 2016

Interesting, hard to follow at times; kept checking author's bio because, as others have noted, writing style not particularly engaging.

Jul 17, 2016

I don't really care for this author's writing style. It is very chopping and non-engaging to the reader. She jumps back and forth constantly between Presidents whereas I think the book would have flowed better had she discussed each one in chronological order.

Jul 12, 2016

Listened to this on a car trip. Seemed a bit repetitive, but it was fascinating to get a glimpse at the lives of the people who support our first families.

Jan 31, 2016

Not particularly well-written. Not well organized. The author tries to organize the book along subject areas, but it makes for kind of a chaotic piece. Would have been better done historically, by administration. The writing is pretty clumsy. Hard to believe this woman was a high-level journalist (ah, maybe she isn't one any more - and the way this book is written will tell you why!). That said, there are some fascinating details of like in the White House. Like how much of the stuff the First Family must pay for themselves! WOW! And if you think America does not have "Royalty", just read this book. The demands that some of the Presidents and First Ladies have put on this staff make some of the English and European Kings and Queens look like nothing! It was actually kind of embarrassing to read how shamefully some of these Presidents and First ladies treated the staff. Clearly some of these Presidents and First Ladies need a lesson in priorities and what's really important in life-having your little porcelain eggs put back in exactly the same spot (to the inch) every time the table is dusted is indicative of a self-centered person who needs to get a life. As is treating these people on the staff as though they have no other family or any life outside that house. Pretty disgusting for the First Family of a country that calls itself a democracy. Some of the info on the Regan years is interesting - Ronnie was pretty henpecked!

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