By Bonnie Angelo
What's it wish to be America's First kin? during this splendidly enticing e-book, Bonnie Angelo, Time correspondent and acclaimed writer of First moms, probes 2 hundred years of yankee heritage to inform the tale of genuine lifestyles in the White apartment walls—how presidents, their better halves, young children, and prolonged households labored to create a house in an impressive nationwide monument whereas trying to retain their inner most lives from the general public area. First households chronicles exhilarating moments in addition to darkish days on the nation's most renowned tackle, with interesting, behind-the-headline money owed of picture-book weddings, gossipy amorous affairs, rollicking young children, family squabbles, and tragic deaths. From activist other halves Eleanor Roosevelt and Hillary Clinton to reluctant occupants Bess Truman and Jacqueline Kennedy, to these resembling Mary Todd Lincoln, Dolley Madison, and madcap debutante Alice Roosevelt, who embraced their new deal with and standing, this is an unforgettable human portrait of our First households and the way they coped, stumbled, or thrived within the nationwide highlight.
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Extra info for First Families: The Impact of the White House on Their Lives
He was known to go through an entire ofﬁcial dinner without having a conversation, while First Lady Grace covered his silence with her charm. Coolidge’s only social grace was his wife by that name. In contrast to Harding and his high-ﬂying bonhomie, Coolidge ruled that the majesty of the White House obviated the need for “pomp and splendor,” thus he would “maintain as far as possible an attitude of simplicity. ” This attitude also saved money—and Coolidge was frugal to the core. Exercising his own lèse-majesté, Coolidge often did not offer guests at recep- 32 first families tions so much as a glass of ice water.
TR was an outdoorsman who liked to hunt big game; Alice was a party animal. Understandably, their relationship was uneasy: he had turned her over to an aunt for the ﬁrst three years of her life, and somewhere deep in his psyche there might have been resentment toward this child who had cost the life of his adored ﬁrst wife after childbirth when she was only twenty-three. As for the boys, there is no need to scrutinize their hijinks for deep psychological roots: they simply discovered in the White House endless opportunities for uninhibited fun.
The Founding Fathers would have been proud that the system, going into its third century, is still strong. Jimmy Carter, the most gracious of defeated Presidents, entertained about thirty of the incoming Reagan team at tea in the White House a few days before the 1981 inauguration. Reaganite Charles Z. Wick, the incoming head of the Voice of America, would never forget a little vignette from that day: “I remember looking out over the south driveway and there was Amy Carter, in blue jeans, shoveling some of her stuff in the back of the station wagon.
First Families: The Impact of the White House on Their Lives by Bonnie Angelo