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In collaboration with the White House Historical Association, National Geographic offers INSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE: Stories from the World's Most Famous Residence (National Geographic Books; hardcover; $40). With a foreword by former First Lady Laura Bush and an introduction by historian and author William Seale, the book presents a vivid account of the people who have lived and worked in this symbolic building and highlights many of the fascinating events that have taken place there. The book also includes an illustrated gallery of the official portraits of all of the presidents and first ladies and a full index.

The book, by Noel Grove with William B. Bushong and Joel D. Treese, opens the doors to America's most famous home through images, anecdotes and records that describe life within its walls. The world of the White House is presented by theme, including the building and its architecture; its 18 acres of gardens and grounds; the West Wing; first ladies; entertaining, celebrating and the holidays; the working White House; at home in the White House; diplomacy and ceremony; and innovations and technology. The stories and insights allow readers to share the excitement and stresses that come with the job of being president or his support staff.


The association would like to thank First Lady Laura Bush for her foreword that captured the essence of the experience of first families that live and work at the White House and set the stage for readers. Anita McBride and Lyric Winik assisted Mrs. Bush and provided significant insights into the Bush years in the White House. Historian William Seale wrote an engaging introduction for this book and his review and comments on the manuscript during production of Inside the White House greatly improved the quality and accuracy of the narrative. Maria Downs, White House Social secretary during the Ford Administration, provided invaluable assistance for the chapters that included information on the role of the Social Secretary, entertaining, and protocol at the White House. D. Michael Ressler, Marine Band historian, reviewed and suggested revisions related to the President's Own and its contributions to the musical history of the White House. Mary Jo Binker, Associate Editor at The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, provided advice on the interpretation of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and the role of first ladies in general. Association staff, John Riley, Courtney Speckmann, Alexandra Lane and others read drafts of the manuscript and provided important revisions and insights that improved the book.

Footnotes & Resources

Source Notes:

The research and factual information behind Inside the White House: Stories from the World's Most Famous Residence (2013) emanates from many years of the White House Historical Association's productions of web presentations, traveling exhibitions, lesson plans, and publications. Works by William Seale--the President's House (2008) and The White House: History of an American Idea (2000)--and Betty Monkman, The White House: Its Historic Furnishings and First Families (2000) are central to this study of the White House. The association's journal, White House History, provided a rich repository of scholarly works used for this project. The bibliography published in Inside the White House: Stories from the World's Most Famous Residence (2013) contains the full catalog of books published by the White House Historical Association and a selection of additional works about the White House and its occupants referenced in these notes. The source notes also provide links to presentations on the association website that were condensed or adapted for use in this publication.

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