As Margaret Truman knows from firsthand experience, living in the White House can be exhilarating and maddening, alarming and exhausting, but it is certainly never dull. Part private residence, part goldfish bowl, and part national shrine, the White House is both the most important address in America and the most intensely scrutinized.
In The President's House, Margaret Truman takes us behind the scenes as she reveals what it feels like to live in the White House. Here are hilarious stories of Teddy Roosevelt's rambunctious children tossing spitballs at presidential portraits and a heartbreaking account of the tragedy that befell President Coolidge's young son John. Here, too, is the real story of the Lincoln Bedroom - as well as the thrilling narrative of how first lady Dolley Madison rescued the priceless portrait of George Washington and a copy of the Declaration of Independence before British soldiers torched the White House in 1814.
Today the 132-room White House operates as an exotic combination of first-class hotel and fortress, with 1600 dedicated workers and an annual budget over $1 billion. But ghosts of the past still walk the august corridors, including the phantom whose visit President Harry S. Truman described to his daughter in eerie detail. From the basement swarming with reporters to the "Situation Room" crammed with sophisticated technology to the Oval Office where the President receives the world's leaders, the White House is a beehive of relentless activity, deal-making, intrigue, gossip, and, of course, history in the making.