The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Apr 7, 2015 - History - 336 pages

A remarkable history with elements of both In the President’s Secret Service and The Butler, The Residence offers an intimate account of the service staff of the White House, from the Kennedys to the Obamas.

America’s First Families are unknowable in many ways. No one has insight into their true character like the people who serve their meals and make their beds every day. Full of stories and details by turns dramatic, humorous, and heartwarming, The Residence reveals daily life in the White House as it is really lived through the voices of the maids, butlers, cooks, florists, doormen, engineers, and others who tend to the needs of the President and First Family.

These dedicated professionals maintain the six-floor mansion’s 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, three elevators, and eight staircases, and prepare everything from hors d’oeuvres for intimate gatherings to meals served at elaborate state dinners. Over the course of the day, they gather in the lower level’s basement kitchen to share stories, trade secrets, forge lifelong friendships, and sometimes even fall in love.

Combining incredible first-person anecdotes from extensive interviews with scores of White House staff members—many speaking for the first time—with archival research, Kate Andersen Brower tells their story. She reveals the intimacy between the First Family and the people who serve them, as well as tension that has shaken the staff over the decades. From the housekeeper and engineer who fell in love while serving President Reagan to Jackie Kennedy’s private moment of grief with a beloved staffer after her husband’s assassination to the tumultuous days surrounding President Nixon’s resignation and President Clinton’s impeachment battle, The Residence is full of surprising and moving details that illuminate day-to-day life at the White House.


What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Schmerguls -

5629. The Residence Inside the Private World of The White House, by Kate Andersen Brower (read 21 May 2019) This is 2015 book so it does not tell a thing about today's White House and has maybe been ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - abergsman - LibraryThing

This was not quite the book I was expecting. I was hoping for a more in-depth look at a group of White House residence staff, and what it is like for them to work at the most famous home in the ... Read full review


Main Cast of Characters
Controlled Chaos
Dark Days
Backstairs Gossip and Mischief
Growing Up in the White House

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2015)

Kate Andersen Brower spent four years covering the Obama White House for Bloomberg News and is a former CBS News staffer and Fox News producer. She lives outside Washington, D.C., with her husband and their two young children.

Bibliographic information