Under This Roof: The White House and the Presidency--21 Presidents, 21 Rooms, 21 Inside Stories

By Paul Brandus

“Like taking a journey of the White condominium with a talented storyteller at your side!”

  1. Why, within the mins before John F. Kennedy used to be murdered, was once a blood-red carpet put in within the Oval place of work?
  2. If Abraham Lincoln by no means slept within the Lincoln bed room, the place did he sleep?
  3. Why used to be one president approximately killed within the White apartment on inauguration day—and one other secretly sworn in?
  4. What really occurred within the state of affairs Room on September eleven, 2001?


History leaps off the web page during this “riveting,” “fast-moving” and “highly unique” publication at the presidency and White residence in Under This Roof, from award-winning White House-based journalist Paul Brandus. Reporting from the West Wing briefing room when you consider that 2008, Brandus—the so much White apartment journalist on Twitter (@WestWingReport)—weaves jointly tales of the presidents, their households, the occasions in their time—and an oft-ignored significant personality, the White condo itself.

From George Washington—who chosen the successful layout for the White House—to the present occupant, Barack Obama—the tale of the White home is the tale of the United States itself, Brandus writes. You’ll:

  1. Walk with John Adams in the course of the still-unfinished mansion, and watch Thomas Jefferson plot to shop for the Louisiana Territory
  2. Feel the terror and panic as British invaders strategy the mansion in 1814—and Dolley Madison frantically saves a portray of Washington
  3. Gaze out the window with Abraham Lincoln as accomplice flags flutter within the breeze at the different facet of the Potomac
  4. Be within the room as one president is secretly sworn in, and one other gambles away the White residence china in a card game
  5. Stand through the presidential mattress as one First Lady—covering up her husband’s sickness from the nation—secretly makes judgements on his behalf
  6. Learn how phones, video clips, radio, television replaced the presidency—and the state itself


Through triumph and tragedy, increase and bust, secrets and techniques and scandals,
Brandus takes you to the presidential bed room, movie show, scenario Room, Oval workplace and extra. Under This Roof is a “sensuous account of the historical past of either the house of the President, and the boys and girls who designed, inhabited, and adorned it. Paul Brandus captivates with awesome, gloriously uncooked observations.”

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I’ve by no means noticeable something love it. I can’t endure the concept of relocating in. I hate it, I hate it, hate it. ”7 Her feedback published extra approximately Mrs. Kennedy’s style than the mansion itself, which, below a decade after the Truman maintenance, used to be in positive form. in particular, Mrs. Kennedy had came across that the various furniture and decor of the Truman and Eisenhower eras have been reproductions of interval items. that they had been chosen for monetary purposes, which used to be unacceptable to a girl for whom the be aware “budget” used to be anathema. “It appears like it’s been provided by means of stores,” she complained. “It appears like a home the place not anything has ever taken position. there's no hint of the previous. ”8 The White residence, Jacqueline Kennedy felt, aren't simply look grand—it has to be authentically so. She vowed to not remodel it yet to revive it. nine She used to be correct concerning the shop quip: many of the White House’s furniture she encountered in 1961 had come from a brand new York division shop. 10 Armed with the $50,000 given via Congress to new First households, Mrs. Kennedy started with the dwelling quarters at the moment flooring. Rooms have been brightened up. paintings borrowed from museums used to be hung. She despatched for furniture from their Georgetown domestic. She ended the culture of First households taking all their nutrients in a eating room at the flooring ground, growing one at the moment ground the place they really lived—in an analogous room the place Abraham Lincoln’s post-mortem and embalming have been played. A small adjoining room at the northwest nook was once switched over right into a kitchen. other than the benefit of getting a kitchen inside of their residing quarters, it gave the younger mom of 2 extra privateness for her relations. eleven The Oval Room at the moment ground, utilized by Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman as a personal examine, used to be switched over right into a drawing room for the president to entertain viewers. 12 during this appreciate it resembled the Oval Room of the Twenties, whilst Warren Harding held his high-stakes card video games whereas First woman Flossie Harding combined beverages. furnishings from eighteenth-century France was once donated for the room, which turned the 1st lady’s favourite. thirteen As for her wish to fix “authenticity” to the White residence, Mrs. Kennedy left the Lincoln Bedroom—where the 16th president had his office—alone. It used to be, she felt, “the one room in the home with a hyperlink to the previous. ”14 For the remainder of the mansion, she shaped a good Arts Committee to suggest her at the acquisition of real furniture from America’s prior. She requested for electorate in ownership of any real furniture to donate them to the White House—and they did. Treasures linked to George Washington, James Madison, and Lincoln quickly arrived,15 as did 3 unique chairs that had stood in James Monroe’s Oval Room in 1818, while the President’s apartment first reopened following the British assault and hearth of 1814. The White residence additionally obtained work, sculptures, and old prints. The committee labored to discover donors to pay for those treasures, and by means of the top of 1961, hundreds of thousands of individuals had provided.

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