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

Amazon.com Price: £11.89 (as of 13/12/2019 23:22 PST- Details)

In this New York Times bestseller, the White House chief usher for nearly three decades offers a behind-the-scenes look at America’s first families.  J. B. West, chief usher of the White House, directed the operations and maintenance of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue—and coordinated its daily life—at the request of the president and his family. He directed state functions; planned parties, weddings and funerals, gardens and playgrounds, and extensive renovations; and, with a large staff, supervised every activity in the presidential home. For twenty-eight years, first as assistant to the chief usher, then as chief usher, he witnessed national crises and triumphs, and interacted daily with six consecutive presidents and first ladies, as well as their parents, children and grandchildren, and houseguests—including friends, relatives, and heads of state.   J. B. West, whom Jackie Kennedy called “one of the most extraordinary men I have ever met,” provides an absorbing, one-of-a-kind history of life among the first ladies. Alive with anecdotes ranging from Eleanor Roosevelt’s fascinating political strategies to Jackie Kennedy’s tragic loss and the personal struggles of Pat Nixon, Upstairs at the White House is a rich account of a slice of American history that usually remains behind closed doors.  

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Evaluation

“I feel he is without doubt one of the most extraordinary males I’ve ever met.” —Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
“If he had been at court docket he could be referred to as Head Chamberlain. . . . He finds options to so many issues with quiet effectivity.” —Woman Hen Johnson in A White Home Diary

“This memoir by the previous Chief Usher (i.e. majordomo) of the White Home is a number of Truman-balconies above all these others.” —Kirkus Evaluations
 

In regards to the Writer

J. B. West (1912–1983), chief usher of the White Home—or government director of the chief mansion and grounds—was as soon as referred to as “essentially the most highly effective man in Washington subsequent to the president.” Discreet and witty, he supervised the massive everlasting workers that offered for each private need and want for six presidents and first women, together with at state dinners, weddings, and funerals, redecorating the amenities for every household and tending to each particular request. He served first as assistant to the chief usher after which as chief usher after retiring as a high-level civilian officer of the US Navy. A local Iowan, his White Home tenure (1941–1969) adopted a profession within the Veterans Administration. Upstairs on the White Home was revealed in 1973 and remained on the New York Instances bestseller record for months, with greater than 5 hundred terribly constructive critiques, editions in seven languages, and greater than two million copies bought within the US throughout hardcover and paperback codecs.

Mary Lynn Kotz, the creator of 4 books, is a contract journal journalist primarily based in Washington, DC. A contributing editor of ARTnews, she has written many canopy tales, together with “A Day with Georgia O’Keeffe.” Her e-book Rauschenberg: Artwork and Life is the biography of the late American artist Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008), about whom she has given illustrated lectures at greater than seventy museums and festivals, together with on the 2009 Venice Biennale.

On this New York Instances bestseller, the White Home chief usher for almost three a long time gives a behind-the-scenes have a look at America’s first households.  J. B. West, chief usher of the White Home, directed the operations and upkeep of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue—and coordinated its day by day life—on the request of the president and his household. He directed state features; deliberate events, weddings and funerals, gardens and playgrounds, and in depth renovations; and, with a big workers, supervised each exercise within the presidential house. For twenty-eight years, first as assistant to the chief usher, then as chief usher, he witnessed nationwide crises and triumphs, and interacted day by day with six consecutive presidents and first women, in addition to their mother and father, kids and grandchildren, and houseguests—together with pals, family members, and heads of state.   J. B. West, whom Jackie Kennedy referred to as “probably the most extraordinary males I’ve ever met,” offers an absorbing, one-of-a-kind historical past of life among the many first women. Alive with anecdotes starting from Eleanor Roosevelt’s fascinating political methods to Jackie Kennedy’s tragic loss and the non-public struggles of Pat Nixon, Upstairs on the White Home is a wealthy account of a slice of American historical past that often stays behind closed doorways.  

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