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The President's House: A History by noted historian William Seale, published by the White House Historical Association in two rich volumes, chronicles both the unique continuum of the White House in American history and its human side as home to presidents and their families. It chronicles every president from George Washington to George H. W. Bush. The William J. Clinton and George W. Bush years are included in an epilogue.

"Granting that walls can't talk, I've done my best to make them seem to in The Presidents House," says author Seale. "I've sought out documents, old letters and books and brought them together, president by president. And I've made every use I possibly could of the house as it stands, going over it carefully, attic to cellar, for what it can tell about its past and how it was, as well as how it is today."

In this series of video clips, Seale shares some of his book's most compelling White House stories and fun facts.

Presidents Who Shaped the White House

The White House Historical Association

Hoban's exterior drawing, or "elevation," 1793.

The Maryland Historical Society

North Front of the President's House, c. 1800, by Samuel Blodget, Jr.

The White House

The White House as a Symbol

The White House Historical Association

The south front of the White House, daguerreotype by John Plumbe Jr., probably in the late winter or early spring of 1846.

Library of Congress

The Tradition of Presenting Diplomatic Credentials

The White House Historical Association

The Blue Room as redecorated in a soft sky blue by McKinley in 1899, after the Spanish-American War. James Buchanan's gilt furniture was still in use.

White House Historical Association

The Tradition of the New Year's Reception

The White House Historical Association

President James Buchanan and Harriet Lane appear in the East Room as the last phase of a great public reception, 1858.

Harper's Weekly

An Interactive White House

The White House Historical Association

President Ronald Reagan toasts Australian prime minister Malcolm Fraser in the State Dining Room, June 30, 1981.

Ronald Reagan Library

The White House as a Museum

The White House Historical Association

The Blue Room as completed shortly before President Kennedy's death, 1963.

The White House Historical Association

The White House as an Office

The White House Historical Association

President William McKinley's War Room, upstairs at the White House, 1898.

Library of Congress

The White House as a Home

The White House Historical Association

Frances Folsom Cleveland photographed by Frances Benjamin Johnston in the west-hall sitting room upstairs at the White House, 1888.

Library of Congress

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