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Downstairs at the White House

The Story of a Teenager, an Oval Office, and a Ringside Seat to Watergate
Narrated by: Donald M. Stinson
Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

At the age of 17, Don Stinson accidentally landed a job in the White House during Watergate, the largest political scandal in American history. 

A truly insignificant member of the Nixon White House staff, he frequently loitered outside of the Oval Office to watch it unfold.  What he saw throughout the White House ran  the gamut from the deeply profound to the wildly hilarious. 

He was also a kid who did the same kind of harebrained things most teenagers do. Only steps away from the Oval Office, he fought with a foreign head of state for space in a restroom. He devised a shortcut that tripped countless alarms and summoned an agitated band of Secret Service agents. He spilled ice water on Frank Sinatra's sock. 

And that was just the small stuff. 

A funny, fast-paced memoir, Downstairs at the White House is richly decorated with presidents, first ladies, celebrities...and events that shook America. 

©2017 Eastern Harbor Press LLC (P)2018 Eastern Harbor Press LLC

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  • Greg
  • FOREST HILLS, NY, United States
  • 12-04-18

Great Story

Entertaining story line, packed with funny historical anecdotes. I am always a big fan of author narration, and think it is done exceptionally well in this case. Hearing the Author's voice makes the story come to life. Highly recommend to all history buffs - interesting perspective on a national event!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Laughing and learning at the same time!

Don Stinson's memoir about working in the White House during Watergate is a delightful "Forrest Gump"-esque tale full of humor and fascinating bits of history. The listening experience is made so much better by having Don tell his own story as the narrator. Great performance!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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This book is so much fun to listen to!

This book is funny, interesting, and you’ll want to keep listening to find out what happens next! This is a compelling view into this time in history and leaves the listener wanting more stories. Highly recommended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A great listen...great story and great narration

I listened to this during two recent airline flights...made the time fly !!!!. The author tells an interesting, funny and entertaining story about his time working in the White House. His voice is filled with humor and the story is well told. Highly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Young and at the Fringes of the Middle

Don Stinson is a great story teller! Not just because of how he puts words on a page, but also how he brings his stories to life in his audio version. He perfectly captures what it’s like to be both smart and callow in a town of outsized places and personalities, what it’s like to be on the fringes a political earthquake, how it’s possible to be very close to the great events of our day and experience only the occasional but surprising glimmer. Full of fascinating insights into the personalities involved. There’s an especially moving story of learning a life lesson from then-U.S. Treasury Secretary John Connally, who had been wounded 10 years before during the attack that killed John F. Kennedy. There are moments of great humor, great drama, and great humanity. Overall, a good, solid read, but this effect is spoiled somewhat by a preachy final chapter on advice to up and coming young people.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating Behind the Scenes

Listened as Trump impeachment enquiry started. Nixon's resignation back story was errily similar to today

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Must Read!

Wow! What a great book! Hilarious story and overall awesome book! Must read for anyone.

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The funniest history lesson you might ever get...

After four years of buying audio books, I've finally found a great one! Donald Stinson's Downstairs at the White House is a hilarious yarn of history and deep political insights from the Nixon years. His stories, gleaned initially as a teenage White House intern in the 1970s, return almost 50 years later as polished global perspectives shared by the adult version of that same intern. Stinson's reflections will keep you laughing, and also guessing about what he'll say next. The typical audio book in my library is abandoned after a couple chapters because the narrations are monotone, boring and slow. Stinson lights this up with a conversational "performance" that makes you wish you could know both his collegiate and adult selves.