The Residence: inside the private world of The White House by Kate Anderson Brower

residenceI came away from reading this book extremely impressed by the residence staff in the White House: their loyalty, love, trustworthiness as in keeping confidences, work ethic as in hours that require the commitment to be there until you are no longer needed–which in some cases could be days on end…..and other great qualities of these great people. Many of the employees stay for decades, and many have many relatives that have worked inside the White House, as well.

One enjoyable part of this book is sort of gossip about the personalities of the presidents and their wives: who was easy and who was hard to work with and why. One disappointing fact I learned is how long the African American workers were paid a different scale than the whites, and that even now, considering the work and hours and commitment required by the job, the pay seems low. It is certainly lower than what they could earn in the private sector. They are considered as heroes by many, and even by the First Families, as well, often providing emotional support, witness, or companionship in some very lonely circumstances.

Some additional news-worthy material about circumstances around significant events such as the Kennedy assassination, and “9-11” are also included.

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