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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Story of the White House, By A Famous First Daughter
Former First Daughter Margaret Truman offers the reader an entertaining, anecdotal account of life at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Her focus is on the White House as a home, though its role as a seat of power is not neglected. As a result, you can expect to learn more here about the first wives, children, doormen, Secret Service agents, maids, gardeners, cooks and others who...
Published on December 14, 2003 by W. C HALL

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What are her sources?
This book is certainly an interesting read. It is filled with antecdotes and stories from the rich history of the White House and it's occupants over the years. This of course includes the author herself when her father was President of the United States. However, it is definitely not a work of scholarship. There are no notes on sources included anywhere which detracts...
Published 17 months ago by Richard C. Trumbo


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Story of the White House, By A Famous First Daughter, December 14, 2003
By 
W. C HALL (Newport, OR USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Former First Daughter Margaret Truman offers the reader an entertaining, anecdotal account of life at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Her focus is on the White House as a home, though its role as a seat of power is not neglected. As a result, you can expect to learn more here about the first wives, children, doormen, Secret Service agents, maids, gardeners, cooks and others who have lived and labored behind these famous walls..although the presidents themselves aren't entirely overlooked.

The exterior the White House presents to the world has changed little in two centuries...but the interior has been undergoing an almost constant process of destruction and renewal. We learn about the 1814 torching of the president's house by invading British troops; the addition of greenhouses, which gave way to the west wing at the beginning of the 20th century; almost constant sprees of redecoration and reconfiguring of the public and family rooms, all of which culminated in the complete reconstruction of the White House during the Truman years.

There are chapters about the rambunctious children, the unusual pets, the glamorous weddings, riotous inaugural balls and other historic events that have enlivened this historic mansion. You will get a sense of the behind-the-scenes preparation that goes into welcoming a visiting head of state or similar dignitary. There are two sections of illustrations, one in color, that further help the reader share in Truman's wonder and appreciation of this historic house.--William C. Hall
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fluffy but fun look at America�s showcase home, November 6, 2003
Author and a former first daughter (unbelievably over fifty years ago) Margaret Truman provides the perfect combination to escort readers to an insider tour of the White House (past and present). The best-selling writer provides numerous anecdotes from history as she escorts her visitors through the kitchen, garden and the famous social functions, etc. The book also contains chapters on the household, political and security staffs, the press corps, and White House weddings. Of course other sections provide insight into the first families including pets.
Though history buffs will think it is too much fluff the former first daughter turned novelist provides a fun look at America's showcase home over the two plus centuries of residents. Readers will enjoy this book written in a light-hearted upbeat manner enhanced by color and black and white photos.
Harriet Klausner
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inside the White House by a Famous First Daughter, March 4, 2004
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Margaret Truman is, of course, the daughter of President Harry Truman and his wife Bess. She is the most prolific writing child of any American Chief Executiv. Margaret Truman has written several mysteries and histories about life in Washington which are written in a popular style easy to understand and enjoy.
As Ms. Truman opens the door to our White House she lets us discover the fascinating men and women who have lived at 1600
Pennyslvania Avenue. She discusses such various topics as:
1. White House Weddings.
2. Relations between the Presidents and the Media
3. The Children of Presidents who have lived in the White House
4. White House Presidential Pets
5. The kooks and crazies who have tried (and in some cases been successful) in assasinating our chief executive.
6. She describes the growth of the White House from its first occupancy by John and Abigal Adams in 1800. The history of the White House building, grounds, gardens and additions are discussed.
7. How the routine of a White House day changed with every administration-when they awoke to what they liked for dinner!
Ms. Truman has written in a charmingly simple style which is nevertheless based on her well done historical research. This is a book anyone regardless of age or party affiliation could enjoy.
I recommend it highly!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Beginning. . ., November 30, 2003
By 
This book certainly reminds one of Mrs. Daniel's mysteries. I have read her various publications on her parents and I consider them to be better reads.
However, Mrs. Daniel does an excellent job of organizing her work, and the break-down of the chapters here is excellent. I didn't read the book in order, but picked the chapters in which I was most interested first!
I'm a history reader, though, and found very little in this book that was news. Save her personal recollections, I think I've seen this information elsewhere, and in greater detail. The book is very 'readable', though, and I managed to polish it off in two evenings, easily. This will likely broaden its appeal to its intended audience.
I can't say the book is a disappointment. I didn't expect a more academic volume. The expression 'history lite', used by Publisher's Weekly, is appropriate. For those who ordinarily don't read history, it will be pleasurable. For those of us who read history, a look elsewhere is recommended.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun and insightful read...., August 5, 2004
While Margaret Truman isn't on the same level as Ken Burns, Shelby Foote or other historians her books are a fun read. Who better to tell you about the White House than someone whose parents spent seven years in residence (although due to renovations it was not technically seven years - they spent some time at the Blair House).

She crafts a nice balance between telling you little known stories about the former first families while sprinkling in her opinions; much like a chef would throw a dash of spice into a recipe. One of the most pleasant surprises is that she is bi-partisan in her narrative. If she is wry in her observations about some of the first families, it is based more on her observations of character rather than party loyalty. She speaks glowingly of some of the Republican inhabitants - most notably the Coolidges.

I definitely recommend this book for those who love historical trivia. Plus much of the reading material (White House pets for example)can be shared with kids for those times that you'd like bedtime reading to be a little more stimulating than "Captain Underpants" or "The Day my Butt went Psycho"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative and Entertaining, March 10, 2006
I listened to the Audio CD version of this book.

In terms of strong historical value, there is not a lot to this book. It really is pretty fluffy in its tone and approach. Margaret Truman is a credible source however and she does make it very entertaining to listen to.

The organization is interesting. The language is conversational. You'll come away with better knowledge of the White House, its residence and our Nations History.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A historical great, June 8, 2013
By 
Jim in PA (Lancaster PA) - See all my reviews
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Great to understand the history of this house and its occupants, both presidents and their families. I learned so much I didn't really know and now appreciate this national treasure much more than I thought I would
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What are her sources?, April 25, 2013
By 
Richard C. Trumbo (Anaheim, Ca. United States) - See all my reviews
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This book is certainly an interesting read. It is filled with antecdotes and stories from the rich history of the White House and it's occupants over the years. This of course includes the author herself when her father was President of the United States. However, it is definitely not a work of scholarship. There are no notes on sources included anywhere which detracts from the book's credibility. You will no doubt enjoy the light-heartedness of this book, but it would have been nice to know where Truman's information came from.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never a dull moment in the White House...., January 21, 2009
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Margaret Truman writes a White House history as lively and fast paced as her popular mystery series. Her forte is recounting entertaining historic highlights about presidents, first ladies and their pets. Some stories are well-known but her deft turns of phrase make them charming to read again. I enjoyed sharing her stories with my breakfast group during this election year because they were positive and funny views of our first families.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative, July 12, 2014
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I loved catching a glimpse into the lives of the people who live and work in the white house
The author's writing style makes this an easy book to read.
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The President's House: A First Daughter Shares the History and Secrets of the World's Most Famous Home
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