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America's first families : an inside view of 200 years of private life in the Wh
Anthony, Carl Sferrazza.
Adult Nonfiction E176.1 .A68 2000

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Anthony, a veteran historian of presidential wives (Florence Harding, etc.), has penned this delightful volume of the lives of those first families who have occupied the White House to coincide with the residence's 200th anniversary. Since John Adams, his wife, Abigail, and their extended family arrived at their new home in November 1800, 40 other presidential families have endeavored, with varying success, to maintain some degree of privacy while they lived in the White House fishbowl. Drawing on extensive research, the author provides a wealth of entertaining anecdotes and trivia that illuminates the ups and downs of their lives, both public and private. Anthony covers topics such as family members , religion, recreation, hospitality, holidays and working at home. While many storiesDfor example, Richard Nixon's penchant for lighting a fire while the air conditioning was onDhave been cited elsewhere, Anthony recounts many lesser-known ones. He relates, for instance, that John and Jackie Kennedy often locked themselves in a bedroom together for an intimate hour after lunch (his many affairs notwithstanding). We learn, too, that Harry Truman's mother-in-law was an unrepentant anti-Semite who wouldn't allow his Jewish friends to enter her home, and that visits from Lyndon Johnson's grandson provided emotional therapy for the president during the embattled end of his term. Illustrated with more than 300 photos and packed with loads of tidbits about first families, this intimate miscellany is great for browsing; those who like their history light and easy will want this for their coffee table. Author tour to presidential libraries and museums across the country. (Nov. 2) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

With this commemorative history of the Executive Mansion's first 200 years (1800-2000), AnthonyDa former speechwriter for Nancy Reagan and the author of four books about First Ladies, including First Ladies, a two-volume historyDshows that he knows his way around the White House. Generously illustrating the text with portraits and candid photos from presidential libraries, archives, and Library of Congress collections, Anthony presents the human side of both familiar and obscure presidents and their families. The narratives are arranged according to events and relationships such as the first day, holidays, children, extended families, etc., and provide touching descriptions of family celebrations, crises, and tragedies. This close-up look at the lives of White House residents offers an intimate and objective perspective on the fish-bowl life most First Families have experienced. Highly recommended for public libraries.DJill Ortner, SUNY at Buffalo Libs. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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