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Houses of the Presidents: Childhood Homes, Family Dwellings, Private Escapes, and Grand Estates Hardcover – November 6, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"With gorgeous photos and a rich, fascinating text . . . HOUSES OF THE PRESIDENTS is the gift book that will grab everyone on your list, from your history-buff grandfather to your real-estate-obsessed sister. . . . The photographs are highly evocative, with a strong sense of place. The text encompasses architectural history, family stories and presidential lore. . . . A visual treat and an entertaining and informative read."
More Magazine

Among the book's pleasures is the way it delivers American history in manageable bites. If you had to point to one thing that distinguishes the homes of American presidents from those of ordinary mortals, ultimately it wouldn't be the wallpaper or the plumbing, but the way history inhabits the walls.―The Wall Street Journal

"The White House is just a place to live for a few years; the places in this book are homes. A marvelous volume for the whole family to enjoy."―-Louisville Courier-Journal

"Author Hugh Howard uses the houses as a device to relate the stories of the presidents and the forces that shaped them. . . . Photos by Roger Straus III let us see how the presidents lived."―-Akron Beacon Journal

"It's easy to be cynical after a bruising election, but this patriotic homage to the lodgings of our nation's leaders - many of them humble - will give you a frisson of pride."―-- USA Today

Presidential houses tell us much about those who lived in them. Some, like Jefferson's Monticello, tell how these men shaped their places. Others, like Washington's Mount Vernon and FDR's Springwood at Hyde Park, tell how they were shaped by them. And still others, like Madison's Montpelier and Lincoln's Cottage, tell how the ideas they propagated there shaped the nation. These stories and more are all here in this wonderfully written and beautifully photographed book by Hugh Howard and Roger Straus III. It is certain to remain the definitive work on this fascinating subject for many years to come."
Richard Moe, president emeritus, National Trust for Historic Preservation



"Houses of the Presidents is a marvelous contribution to American history. Meticulously preserved childhood and family homes-from the humble to the most majestic-are included in this brilliantly illustrated book. No home should be without it!" Douglas Brinkley, Professor of History, Rice University, and Fellow, James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy

You can tell a lot about a man from his home--his self-image, his struggles and his dreams, his roots and his destiny. Anyone curious about America's presidents will want to linger while Hugh Howard takes us on a tour of their houses. This is a beautiful and revealing book, at once intimate and grand. Evan Thomas, author of Ike's Bluff: President Eisenhower's Secret Battle to Save the World

Houses of the Presidents is a visual and intellectual treat for anyone interested in presidential biography. The presidential residences pictured here speak volumes about the lives and times of these men. This is a piece of Americana that should grace everyone's personal library.―Robert Dallek, author of An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963

About the Author

Hugh Howard is the author of more than a dozen books on architecture, as well as Mr. and Mrs. Madison's War. His writings have also appeared in Smithsonian, New York Times, Washington Post, House Beautiful, Preservation, Early American Life, Traditional Homes, and many other publications. He lives in East Chatham, New York, with his wife and two daughters.


Roger Straus III's photography has been featured in eight books, including America's Great Railroad Stations,US I: America's Original Main Street, Mississippi Currents, Modernism Reborn, and Wright for Wright. His work has also appeared in newspapers and magazines such as the Washington Post andArchitectural Digest.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; F First Edition edition (November 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316133272
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316133272
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 1.2 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Forty-three men have served as U.S. president. Their homes have ranged from Washington's spacious mansion overlooking the Potomac and surrounded by 8,000 acres to much more modest settings in which JFK and RMN were born. The book includes 22 chapters that focus on the homes of individual presidents, along with another 15 presidential residences covered in a final chapter.

Having had the opportunity to visit the homes of Washington, Jefferson, Clinton, and Eisenhower, as well as the birthplace of Lincoln I found both the photography and narrative excellent - especially since photography within those homes is generally frowned upon.

Be forewarned, however - this book is not something to simply sit down and read through in one or two settings. Readers will want to take it in small bites, allowing time to envision the various presidents and their families within the various settings.
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Format: Hardcover
We purchased this book for my 85-year-old mother who has traveled to many of the Presidents' homes and who has enjoyed reminiscing about her visits. Mother is quite knowledgeable, but this book provided numerous unfamiliar stories of interest which she will enjoy. It's the type of book one can glance through or pick up and read for a while without having to read the entire book or selection. It was the perfect gift for her.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a wonderful book--excellent pictures and interesting text. I purchased it for a gift (but read it first) and it was very well liked. HOUSES OF THE PRESIDENTS was a perfect choice for this person.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Photography in this book is gorgeous. Nicely written with ample photos. A fun history lesson. A perfect gift book for someone whose eyes might glaze over at a history lecture, but who can come alive when learning things visually and experientally.
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Format: Hardcover
I liked the book very much. Photographs are plentiful and large. The President's homes covered here, are given about 7 pages of photos and text describing the history of the home and a basic overview of the life (life before and/or after Presidency) of President who lived there. There is much to learn and to enjoy.

My sole quibble is that not every one of the President's homes are covered -unimportant and/or "failure" Presidents (such as Franklin Pierce; Rutherford B. Hayes, Garfield, the two Harrisons, et al.,) are relegated to a list of addresses at the end. Readers should be aware that only the homes of big guns like Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, Grant, TR, FDR, etc. are covered. Including ALL the Presidents' homes would have made the book too huge to handle, I guess - still it would have been nice if all were included.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A beautiful book. I learned many things I had never heard before. My roots being in Virginia it made me very homesick,
It was a pleasure to read and see the beautiful pictures, I also gave one as a Christmas Gift.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
EXCELLENT book. The pictures are stunning, and the background stories about the presidents are well-written and intriguing. I read a chapter every single night and am head over heels in love with this book. It was an excellent present to myself, and I HIGHLY recommend it for anyone who enjoys taking tours of presidential homes and/or loves history!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Super table book! If you enjoy the history of the Presidency, you'll definitely enjoy this wonderful book of the Houses of our Presidents. For some reason not all POTUSs are included but, it's Stella great book to enjoy!
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