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.
Upstairs at the White House - very appropriate!
Well written with respect to the presidency, families and the White House....which is my “house” also. Enjoyed it.
Very interesting and well-written book about the Chief Usher's work in the White House under Presidents FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and part of the Nixon administrations. There is a lot of fascinating history here, as well as fun tidbits about how each President and his wife ran the White House. I learned a lot and really enjoyed it.
Enough gossip, yet Mr. West certainly seems to be a very kind and principled man. Glad I read the book.