The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen Brower
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
If you are looking for backstairs at the White House style gossip, it's few and far between, and most of it will come as no surprise (the Clintons were complicated; Nancy Reagan a was a dragon lady; JFK had affairs). A few nuggets of gold (at least for me) were sprinkled throughout - the Carter boys smoked pot; some interesting tidbits about the Ford children; Chelsea Clinton referring to Secret Service agents as "pigs" to their face). This is mostly run-of-the mill; Brower seems to be writing towards a theme but never could quite find one, and the book lacked narrative thread. This never is quite an oral history or a standard history (and in fact, I had some problems with some lack of historical detail). The chapter that include details about September 11, 2001 were perhaps the most interesting in the book; those were stories I'd never heard, and Brower writes about them in such a way to bring alive the terror and confusion of that awful day.
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