A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at life on Pennsylvania Avenue with America's first families, by the man who spent nearly three decades in their midst.
J. B. West, chief usher of the White House, directed the operations and maintenance of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue - and coordinated its daily life - at the request of the president and his family. He directed state functions; planned parties, weddings, funerals, gardens, playgrounds, and extensive renovations; and with a large staff, supervised every activity in the presidential home. For 28 years, first as assistant to the chief usher, then as chief usher, he witnessed national crises and triumphs, and interacted daily with six consecutive presidents and first ladies, their parents, children and grandchildren, and houseguests - including friends, relatives, and heads of state.
In Upstairs at the White House, West offers an absorbing and novel glimpse at America's first families, from the Roosevelts to the Kennedys and the Nixons. Alive with anecdotes ranging from the quotidian (Lyndon B. Johnson's showerheads) to the tragic (the aftermath of John F. Kennedy's assassination), West's audiobook is an enlightening and rich account of the American history that took place just behind the Palladian doors of the North Portico.
©1973 J. B. West (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I am a mother of two adult children and married to a wonderful man. I am a full time Realtor who enjoys historical fiction.
This book really had me feeling like I was at the White House and knowing what these earlier first ladies were like. Beautiful story.
The Head Usher, pride of work.
He took the character on and made it his own.
History, personal version
No, I love spreading it out, listening to it with my husband in the car as he's a history buff.
I loved reading this in paper decades ago. It is only better as an audio.
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