First Families

First Families
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The Impact of the White House on Their Lives

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تاریخ انتشار



Samantha Power


Bonnie Angelo


TKA Distribution


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نقد و بررسی

Publisher's Weekly

June 13, 2005
Veteran Time
correspondent Angelo (First Mothers: The Women Who Shaped the Presidents
) makes the lives of those who either loved or loathed their sojourns in the White House as irresistible as a gossip column. Although some of her stories are well known—such as Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt's distant relationship and Nancy Reagan's devotion to her husband—Angelo has gleaned fresh nuggets from history as well as her personal contacts from a long journalistic career. Andrew Jackson, for example, gave an eight-year-old slave as a christening gift to a relative named after his deceased, beloved wife. President Taft was so fat he got stuck in the presidential bathtub. Lemonade Lucy Hayes banned alcohol at state dinners, but she was undermined by rum punch hidden in platters of oranges. Angelo is particularly skilled at describing the difficulties White House children, including Lyndon Johnson's daughters and Amy Carter, had adjusting to life in a fish bowl. Angelo does, however, ramble, with loosely organized subjects rather than a chronological narrative, and doesn't anchor less familiar figures, like the families of presidents Polk and Pierce, in historical context. 16 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW
. Agent, Todd Shuster.

Library Journal

August 15, 2005
In her more than 40 years with "Time "magazine, Angelo ("First Mothers: The Women Who Shaped the Presidents") reported on both the East and the West Wings of the White House. Now, with this collection of succinct and vivid anecdotes, she takes readers inside the lives of the presidential families. Instead of being organized by president, her chapters are thematic, starting with the impact of first moving into the White House, then covering daily life, what it was like for presidents' children to grow up in the Executive Mansion, the constant struggle to maintain some sense of privacy inside the fish bowl, gala special events, the styles and tastes of the various families, the relationships formed with other heads of state and their families, and, finally, the bittersweet farewells as the next presidential family moves in. Angelo refers to all 43 presidencies and uses her own personal contacts and past interviews when discussing recent administrations. This rich gathering of tidbits is a nice contemporary supplement to previous reminiscences and White House histories. Highly recommended for all public libraries. -Dale Farris, Groves, TX

Copyright 2005 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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