I've wanted to read this book for years, and I'm glad I finally got around to doing it. What a fun read. If you've ever wondered how the White House actually runs -- admittedly now more than 60 years ago when the book begins -- or the off-stage personalities of some of the biggies of the 20th century, this is the book for you. Perhaps what makes it nice is that J.W. West doesn't have any political axes to grind, and you never hear him dish dirt while he's relating how the first families he served made the people's house their own.
While it was interesting to read about the myriad people he served, from the Roosevelts to the Nixons (briefly), what I enjoyed the most were his writing -- in depth -- about how Mrs. Kennedy worked to make the White House both a place for a young family to live comfortably while doing the historic restoration for which she is famous, and the on-going battle to get Pres. Johnson the high-pressure shower he insisted he couldn't live without. If nothing else, the general public certainly doesn't have any idea of the number of people well beyond the first family who call the place home, in-laws, outlaws and even staff members. And, some stories, such as rats carrying off a ham from a basement pantry, made me glad I don't live there.
West has an easy writing style and if you're looking for history with a light touch, this is the book for you.