Winter 2020 Kids Indie Next List
“This fun and informative book is perfect for young history buffs. Middle readers will learn the history of the White House through the lens of the people who lived and worked there over the years, and learn as much about the spouses and children as about the presidents. The best stories come from the hundreds of interviews Brower held with current and former White House staff, many of whom worked there for decades. These staff are amazingly non-partisan in their approach to the job and are dedicated to the families and the institution they serve. Kids and adults will enjoy this exploration, and it will likely spur some kids to start reading biographies of American presidents.”
— Shirley Freeman, Bookbug, Kalamazoo, MI
A remarkable history with elements of both In the President’s Secret Service and The Butler, The Residence 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.
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.
About the Author
Kate Andersen Brower is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Residence, First Women—also a New York Times bestseller—and First in Line. She is a CNN contributor who covered the Obama White House for Bloomberg News and is a former CBS News staffer and Fox News producer. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Vanity Fair, and the Washington Post. She lives outside Washington, D.C., with her husband and their three young children.
“A revealing look at life inside the White House…it’s Downton Abbey for the White House staff.”
— The Today Show
“A juicy new book. . . . A touching story.”
— The Daily Beast
“A work of great historical interest that is also quite entertaining.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Kate Andersen Brower’s The Residence is one of those rare books that is both elegant portraiture and highly readable, important White House history. The anecdotes are fresh and the analysis cogent. The stories about Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton, and Obama are irresistible. Highly recommended!”
— Douglas Brinkley, editor of The Reagan Diaries
“The Residence is a true insider’s tour of the White House. Never before has the president’s home appeared so loud and so human.”
— Chris Matthews, host, Hardball on MSNBC
“The tell-all The Residence, featuring intimate anecdotes collected from past and current White House staff members, is absolutely delicious.”
— The Washington Post
“If you’ve been geeking out over the details of the Underwoods’ residence on House of Cards, or you loved that centerpiece story line on Sunday’s Veep premiere, prepare to encounter the motherlode: Kate Brower’s The Residence.”
“This intimate portrait of what it’s like to take care of the first family is a compelling read. Whether you’re a political or history junkie or devoted Downton Abbey viewer, this book adds unique context to understanding our presidents as human beings.”
— Chuck Todd, moderator, Meet the Press
“Superbly reported. . . . A fascinating backstage account of the world’s most famous residence.”
— Judy Woodruff, anchor, PBS NewsHour and former White House Correspondent for NBC News
“Beautifully written, The Residence offers a unique and compelling view of what really happens inside the very private White House. An absolute must-read!”
— Norah O'Donnell, co-host, CBS This Morning and former Chief White House Correspondent for CBS