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Publisher's Summary

Fifty years of service at the White House in various capacities, including bodyguard to Abraham Lincoln, William H. Crook's memoir brings an astonishing array of personal details of life in the executive mansion. His sensitive observations of Lincoln are especially moving.

A well-known figure in Washington, Crook knew every president from Lincoln until Crook's death in 1915. He was a keen observer and his stories will entertain and sometimes surprise you. Here are also stories of presidents Andrew Johnson, Rutherford B. Hayes, and James Garfield.

A friend of Ulysses S. Grant, a guest at the White House wedding of Grant's daughter, Nellie, he also tells stories of racing with Grant in buggies.

Public Domain (P)2017 Big Byte Books

What listeners say about Through Five Administrations

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Terrible narration

I think if a person is going to narrate a book, that person should be awake at a minimum.

Failing that, I think the person producing the audio-book should notice the groggy-voiced actor, stop the recording, and find someone else.

To find someone better, you might just get a random man-on-the street for the task. It's sure to be better than the one talking through a heavily drugged sleep.

Good Grief!! Don't make an audio-book unless you really want to! Otherwise, go take a nap!

5 people found this helpful

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Narrator Torture

I thoroughly enjoyed this insider view of the White House and these presidents. The story was well written and the personal view of life in the White House was enjoyable. Only by increasing the speed of the narration by 30% was able to tolerate the narrator. He truly did sound like he was falling asleep as he read.

4 people found this helpful

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A White House Recollection

From the months before the first presidential assassination to months after the second, a man who worked for both and three more presidents shares his memories. The author was true to each president and their politics but Lincoln was the touchstone. The reader has a calm composure and is interesting through some of the more boring political sagas.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Book

This is a great book, but the narrator is very monotone and dry, not the best!

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Fascinating history for everyone

What did you love best about Through Five Administrations?


I found the narration on this audiobook to be just the right pace and I liked the narrator. The story is fascinating, as how many first-hand accounts are there from inside the White House during Lincoln and Grant. The others represented here are very interesting as well.

Crook’s time as Lincoln’s bodyguard was clearly something that defined his professional life. It was obvious he came to love the man and he had great affection for the other presidents (and their families) that he served.

This is a long-lost treasure of American history.