Real Life at the White House: Two Hundred Years of Daily Life at America's Most Famous Residence

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Psychology Press, 2000 - Architecture - 511 pages
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Celebrate the 200th anniversary of the White House with this richly illustrated new book on America's, if not the world's, most famous residence. Abigail Adams dried her wash in the unfinished East Room. Benjamin Harrison left the lights burning all night because he feared being shocked by the newly installed electric switches. LBJ waged an obsessive battle with the water pressure in the shower, demanding shower heads on all sides. His successor, Richard Nixon, promptly had them removed. The White House has not always been the ideal home, and as each president moved in, he transformed the house in small and large ways to fit his family's needs. Real Life at the White House celebrates two centuries of domestic life in this historic abode. In forty-two chapters - one for each administration - this stylish sourcebook takes us on an intimate tour of the daily life of each president and his family, bringing into view everything from china patterns to built-in closets (a luxury added during the Truman renovation), from plumbing to telephones (Coolidge refused to use the phone for business) from architectural structure to state dinners and family meals. Filled with hundreds of anecdotes, photographs, and presidential quotes from Washington (who never lived there but oversaw the first plans) to Clinton, this thoroughly engaging book captures the texture of presidential life while documenting the very human history of a house.--Publisher description.

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Real life at the White House: two hundred years of daily life at America's most famous residence

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Filled with anecdotes, quotations, and photographs, this well-written book is the third collaboration of the father/ daughter team of historian John Whitcomb and journalist Claire Whitcomb (House ... Read full review

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About the author (2000)

Father/daughter author team John and Claire Whitcomb have previously collaborated on Oh Say Can You See: Unexpected Anecdotes about American History (1987) and Great American Anecdotes (1994). John Whitcomb has taught American history for 32 years. Claire Whitcomb has written extensively about houses and history while on the staffs of magazines such as House & Garden, House Beautiful and Victoria.

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