Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies

Front Cover
Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1973 - Presidents' spouses - 381 pages
Provides intimate recollections of the social events, life-styles, and decorative preferences that characterized presidential households from Roosevelt to Nixon.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Rascalstar - LibraryThing

Such an interesting book! Factual writing, but the memoir or historical account is truly elegant. The author did well by everyone in the book, and the subject matter is one that could go many ways ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Berly - LibraryThing

Finished Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies by J.B. West. It was an interesting look at the White House from inside. Told from the Chief Usher's* point of view, this book ... Read full review


The Trumans
The Eisenhowers

4 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1973)

James Bernard ("J. B.") West was born in Afton, Iowa, on July 27, 1912. West began work in the White House as assistant to the chief usher in 1941. Prior to that, he had worked in the Veterans Administration. He was promoted to chief usher when Crim retired in 1957. With a staff of over 100, West managed many state dinners and other White House events, including those surrounding the funeral of John F. Kennedy and the wedding of Lynda Bird John. During the Nixon administration an investigation found that West allowed friends into the White House for after hours tours. This resulted in some thefts of White House mementos and chinaware. For that reason, West was considered a blackmail/security risk and dismissed in 1969. His book, Upstairs at the White House, was first published in 1973. It was listed on the New York Times bestseller list in 2015. West died on July 18, 1983, at the age of 70.

Bibliographic information