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Family of Freedom: Presidents and African Americans in the White House Hardcover – February 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Paradigm Publishers (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594518335
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594518331
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,182,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The election of Barack Obama has been viewed by many as a definitive statement on America's tumultuous history with race relations. From its beginning, America has had a complex, some would say schizophrenic, relationship to race—a fledgling democracy espousing equality that also placed a fractional value on black people and based a good deal of its agricultural industry on slave labor. Walsh (From Mount Vernon to Crawford) draws on his extensive experience covering the White House as a journalist to examine the history of the presidency through the lens of the African-American experience—from slavery through civil rights. He explores the difference between the race rhetoric and policy accomplishments of presidents Washington, Wilson, Truman, the Roosevelts, Obama and others. In the case of contemporary presidents (the Bushes, Reagan, Clinton, Obama) he discusses how their private interactions with White House staff compare to policy. The result is a narrowly focused, compelling history of race relations in American politics. Readers interested in the history of the presidency, White House, and civil rights will find much of interest in Walsh's well-researched study. (Feb.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Kenneth T. Walsh is the chief White House correspondent for U.S. News and World Report. He is the author of the daily blog “Ken Walsh’s Washington” for usnews.com, and “The Presidency,” a weekly column for the U.S. News Weekly. He has covered the presidency since 1986 and is one of the longest-serving White House correspondents in history. Walsh is the former president of the White House Correspondents’ Association and has served as an adjunct professor of communication at American University in Washington, DC. He is the author of six books, including Prisoners of the White House and Family of Freedom, published by Paradigm.

More About the Author


Kenneth T. Walsh is a prize-winning journalist who has covered the White House since 1986, including the presidencies of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

Walsh has won the most prestigious awards for White House coverage and is former president of the White House Correspondents' Association. He is Hurst professorial adjunct lecturer in communication at American University in Washington, D.C. and appears frequently on television and radio. He also is a popular speaker who gives talks around the country and on cruise ships. Walsh has written five books.

A native of New York City who spent nearly a decade as a reporter and editor in Denver, Walsh is married to Barclay Walsh and they live in Bethesda, Maryland. They have two children.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By David A. Howarth on February 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For anyone who fully realizes what the United States has accomplished by electing our first African American Chief Executive, Kenneth T. Walsh's new book, "Family of Freedom" will only deepen their appreciation. Beginning with President-elect Barack Obama's memorable speech in Chicago, Walsh then details the history of so many African-Americans who have influenced every President since George Washington - a man who's own attitude towards slavery reversed so dramatically during his lifetime. Who cannot recognize the deep irony of a country revering itself as the bastion of freedom and democracy with an Executive Mansion built by an enslaved people who, for generations, endured lifelong conditions of the most extreme hardship, toil and degradation?
Concluding with a telling and in-depth interview of the President himself, Walsh covers every aspect of this country's controversial and troubling relationship with deep racial bias and bigotry in a direct, heartful and personal writing style. This book should be required reading for younger generations of Americans, who now may have a chance to experience what it means to be the citizen of a country where people are able to live up to an ideal that even the founding fathers, themselves, could never fully grasp, let alone experience. I found Mr. Walsh's "Family of Freedom" to be a superlative resource on the racial history of the White House.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By david binder on May 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Kenneth Walsh informs us that black Americans
not only worked in the White House from its
very beginning, but also helped to build it.
He then recounts how black Americans contributed
to the expansion of the nation's spiritual and
philosophical horizons to the point where it
could elect a black American president.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LCRitz on April 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Very interesting book; reads well and informative; especially for an average reader who wants to learn about AFrican American History and the relationship to the political scene. I would encourage you to read it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joyce A. Stewart on August 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love it. Will be sorry when it is finished. Reading it slowly to absorb its contents, like one would do when studying for an examination.. Extrememly informative. I have recommended it to friends, and suggested that their children and grandchildren read this book. It will help them to learn how this history has impacted, both positively and negatively on many.
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