From Publishers Weekly
Anthony, a veteran historian of presidential wives (Florence Harding, etc.), has penned this delightful volume of the lives of those first families who have occupied the White House to coincide with the residence's 200th anniversary. Since John Adams, his wife, Abigail, and their extended family arrived at their new home in November 1800, 40 other presidential families have endeavored, with varying success, to maintain some degree of privacy while they lived in the White House fishbowl. Drawing on extensive research, the author provides a wealth of entertaining anecdotes and trivia that illuminates the ups and downs of their lives, both public and private. Anthony covers topics such as family members , religion, recreation, hospitality, holidays and working at home. While many storiesDfor example, Richard Nixon's penchant for lighting a fire while the air conditioning was onDhave been cited elsewhere, Anthony recounts many lesser-known ones. He relates, for instance, that John and Jackie Kennedy often locked themselves in a bedroom together for an intimate hour after lunch (his many affairs notwithstanding). We learn, too, that Harry Truman's mother-in-law was an unrepentant anti-Semite who wouldn't allow his Jewish friends to enter her home, and that visits from Lyndon Johnson's grandson provided emotional therapy for the president during the embattled end of his term. Illustrated with more than 300 photos and packed with loads of tidbits about first families, this intimate miscellany is great for browsing; those who like their history light and easy will want this for their coffee table. Author tour to presidential libraries and museums across the country.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From John and Abigail Adams in 1800 to Bill and Hillary Clinton, Americans have been fascinated with the private lives of the inhabitants of the White House. Anthony's book records the behind-the-scene lives of American presidents and their families with photographs, drawings, and letters from newspapers, library archives, and private collections. The book is organized to record the first days of First Families from inauguration to early life in the White House, relationships within First Families, and the White House as home office and family home. Anthony recalls the celebrations, tragedies, and public scrutiny of the families. He notes the traditions set by succeeding families: Dwight Eisenhower, the first president to kiss his wife at inauguration; Lady Bird Johnson, the first wife to hold the Bible as her husband took the oath of office. Anthony includes listings of family christenings, marriages, deaths, religious affiliations, favorite family games, and leisure activities. The publication of this book coincides with the bicentennial of the White House. Vanessa Bush
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