Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Book Review! Upstairs at the White House

I just finished reading Upstairs at the White House My Life with the First Ladies by J.B. West and I loved it! For snippets of history you won't get anywhere else, this book is a must-read. Find out what every day life is like for our presidents and their families.

From Eleanor Roosevelt sending her staff home early on Sundays to spend time with their families and doing their work herself, to Jackie Kennedy's refusal to comb her hair, letting it all over her face when she was home, you will learn many intricate details of our first families' lives.

J.B.West spent nearly 3 decades serving our first families, ultimately becoming Head Usher, which meant he literally ran the White House, had access to the president's most intimate living spaces and got to plan renovations, decorating, parties and even weddings with the first ladies.


This is not a new book. I think it was first published in 1973, but it was new to me as I hadn't read it. I highly recommend this book. It will change the way you view our first families. You'll see how staff responded to each new first lady as she moved in. You'll see the graciousness of Lady Bird Johnson toward Jackie Kennedy after the assassination of JFK. You'll see how Caroline was able to keep her school room in the White House even after they'd moved out. Every detail of daily life in the White House is brilliantly penned in this amazing work.

~Tricia