Americas first families are among the most private public figures on earth. From the mystique of the glamorous Kennedys to the tumult that surrounded Bill and Hillary Clinton during the presidents impeachment to the historic yet polarizing residency of Barack and Michelle Obama, each new administration brings a unique set of personalities to the White Houseand a new set of challenges to the fiercely loyal and hardworking people who serve them: the White House residence staff.No one understands the president of the United States, and his family, like the men and women who make the White House run every day. Now, for the first time, their stories of fifty years, ten administrations, and countless crises, large and small, are told in The Residence. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews with butlers, maids, chefs, florists, doormen, and other staffersas well as former first ladies and first family membersKate Andersen Brower, who covered President Obamas first term, 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 ladys young children, and cater to every need the first couple may have, however sublime or, on occasion, ridiculous.In the voices of the residence workers themselvessometimes wry, often affectionate, always gracious and proudhere are stories of The Kennedysfrom intimate glimpses of their marriage to the chaotic days after JFKs assassination The Johnsonsfeaturing the bizarre saga of LBJs obsession with the White House plumbing The Nixonsincluding Richard Nixons unexpected appearance in the White House kitchen the morning he resigned The Reagansfrom a fire that endangered Ronald Reagan late in his second term to Nancys control of details large and small The Clintonswhose private battles, marked by shouting matches and flying objects, unsettled residence workers The Obamaswho danced to Mary J. Blige on their first night in the White HouseAnd just as compelling are the stories of the workers themselves, including Storeroom Manager Bill Hamilton, who served eleven presidents over fifty-five years, Executive Housekeeper Christine Limerick, who married a fellow residence worker, Chief Usher Stephen Rochon, who became the first African American to hold the post, Executive Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier, who feuded fiercely with Executive Chef Walter Scheib, and Butler James Ramsey, who made friends with presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and whose spirit animated the White House through six administrations before his death in 2014.Working tirelessly to provide impeccable service and earning the trust and undying admiration of each new first family, these extraordinary White House workers served every day in the midst of historyand lived to tell the tales.
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