An Intimate Account of The Service Staff of the White House

Did you know The Residence by Kate Andersen Brower offers an intimate account of the service staff of the White House, from the Kennedys to the Obamas?

America’s First Families are unknowable in many ways. No one has insight into their true character like the people who serve their meals and make their beds every day. Full of stories and details by turns dramatic, humorous, and heartwarming, The Residence reveals daily life in the White House as it is really lived through the voices of the maids, butlers, cooks, florists, doormen, engineers, and others who tend to the needs of the President and First Family.

These dedicated professionals maintain the six-floor mansion’s 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, three elevators, and eight staircases, and prepare everything from hors d’oeuvres for intimate gatherings to meals served at elaborate state dinners. Over the course of the day, they gather in the lower level’s basement kitchen to share stories, trade secrets, forge lifelong friendships, and sometimes even fall in love.

In this book, the insight into the day to day lives of the residents and staff of the White House was really informative. It was at times amusing and other times provided the reader with a clearer understanding of the trials and tribulations within this great home.

Combining incredible first-person anecdotes from extensive interviews with scores of White House staff members—many speaking for the first time—with archival research, Kate Andersen Brower tells their story. She reveals the intimacy between the First Family and the people who serve them, as well as tension that has shaken the staff over the decades.

From the housekeeper and engineer who fell in love while serving President Reagan to Jackie Kennedy’s private moment of grief with a beloved staffer after her husband’s assassination to the tumultuous days surrounding President Nixon’s resignation and President Clinton’s impeachment battle, The Residence is full of surprising and moving details that illuminate day-to-day life at the White House.

It is understandable why this book is a best seller. There is so much charm in this book. It is another side of our country's history which is told by the people who were there. After reading this book you will feel as though you have been a guest in the Whit House.

Readers expecting some gossipy, flash-in-the-pan book about goings on at The White House are bound to be disappointed. Kate Andersen Brower has written a well-balanced, absorbing glimpse of the inner workings and players behind the scenes at America’s most famous residence. Brower introduces us to the countless worker bees devoted to making life bearable for the first families. The interaction between maids, butlers, ushers and others and the presidents and first ladies they serve, and the chaos, demands and mischief. It’s all here. Well written and an easy read. Highly recommended.