The Hidden History of the White House

Power Struggles, Scandals, and Defining Moments

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Pub Date 04 Jun 2024 | Archive Date 30 Jul 2024

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Presented by the hit podcast American History Tellers, The Hidden History of the White House reveals the behind-the-scenes stories of some of the most dramatic events in American history—set right inside the house where it happened

For more than two centuries, the White House in Washington, DC, has been the stage for some of the most climactic moments in American history. Its walls and portraits have witnessed fierce power struggles, history-altering decisions, shocking scandals, and intimate moments among the First Family, their guests, and the staff.

In the signature style of the popular American History Tellers podcast, The Hidden History of the White House places readers in the shoes of historical figures—from power brokers to everyday Americans alike—who lived through pivotal events that shaped America.

As a fly on the wall of history, you’ll find yourself immersed in:

  • Andrew Jackson’s disastrous 1829 inauguration, when a mob overran and trashed the White House.
  • Woodrow Wilson’s stroke, which led to his wife Edith serving as shadow president during the final months of his administration.
  • President-elect Abraham Lincoln’s clandestine journey to Washington to dodge an assassination plot on the eve of the Civil War.
  • Winston Churchill’s wartime sojourn at the White House, during which he and FDR developed plans to defeat Germany.
  • Barack Obama’s decision to green-light the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Equal parts social, political, and cultural history—written and presented in the accessible and engaging style for which American History Tellers is famous—The Hidden History of the White House offers readers a rare opportunity to live within the halls of the Executive Mansion, and explore some of the extraordinary people and events that made America what it is today.

Presented by the hit podcast American History Tellers, The Hidden History of the White House reveals the behind-the-scenes stories of some of the most dramatic events in American history—set right...

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ISBN 9780063343382
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Featured Reviews

The Hidden History of the White House: Power Struggles, Scandals, and Defining Moments by Corey Mead is a great read that I truly enjoyed.

This is quite the collection of stories telling some of the many fascinating people, events, and scenes that took place in and surrounding our nation’s most famous residence. I loved how each narrative placed the reader right into the mix so one could feel as if they were there and part of the action.

There are three sections of the book where the stories are grouped into common themes:
Part 1: Laying the Foundation
Part 2: The People’s House
Part 3: Halls of Power

I won’t spoil anything for the readers, as they should be able to truly enjoy the book as I did. If you love American history, then this is for you.

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The story of the White House is in many ways the story of America, and Cory Mead attempts to capture that parallelism in The Hidden History of the White House. He has some success, but the book is short on a central theme.

=== The Good Stuff ===
* I am an avid reader of American history, and the book did have some information that was new to me. I especially enjoyed the insights on Churchill’s visit to the FDR White House and some of the details of Alexander Butterfield’s infamous recording system during the Nixon years.
* Mead writes in an easy-to-read style, and without the use of complicated syntax or obscure vocabulary.
* It is tough on a draft copy to check references, but the bibliography seems comprehensive and credible.

=== The Not-So-Good Stuff ===
* While there are a few chapters that deal with the physical construction and reconstruction of the White House, more of the book becomes an anthology of interesting glimpses into American History, related mostly by their beginning in the White House.
* Architecture is one of my interests, and many buildings, especially seats of government are carefully crafted to send a message to friends, enemies and citizens. I was really hoping for more of a discussion of these qualities in the US White House, and even better, a comparison with other seats of government world wide. Sadly, this was not a major component of the text.

=== Summary ===
I liked the book as an overview of some high and low points of American history, and it was well written and the research seemed credible. Based on the title, I had hoped for a slightly different emphasis, but still found the book enjoyable and would recommend it to my fellow American history buffs.

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