From Mount Vernon to Crawford: A History of the Presidents and Their Retreats

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9781401301217: From Mount Vernon to Crawford: A History of the Presidents and Their Retreats

From the chief White House correspondent for U.S. News & World Report, a fascinating and unique look at our presidents' retreats, hideaways, and homes.

In Air Force One, Kenneth T. Walsh looked at presidential history from the unusual and illuminating vantage point of the presidents' planes. Now he focuses on the various retreats where our commanders-in-chief have gone to escape the hustle and bustle of Washington, chronicling the important decisions that were made and the historic events that have occurred at them. Moreover, he describes what these sites reveal about the characters of the presidents and the times in which they lived.

From George Washington (Mount Vernon) to George W. Bush (Crawford ranch), from FDR (Hyde Park) to JFK (Hyannisport), almost every single president has had a beloved place where he could really be himself. Based on Walsh's interviews with four of the living presidents, as well as scores of officials and staff, From Mount Vernon to Crawford is a fascinating glimpse into this largely unexamined facet of American government.

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About the Author:

Kenneth T. Walsh has covered the White House since 1986 and has won the two most prestigious honors for reporting on the presidency. He is also the former president of the White House Correspondents' Association. The author of two books, Ronald Reagan and Feeding the Beast, he has served as adjunct professor of communication at American University in Washington, D.C., and is often a guest on MSNBC, Fox News, and other television and radio programs. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

From Booklist:

Capitalizing on the popularity of Air Force One (2003), journalist Walsh again taps the celebrity-type interest in the trappings of the American presidency--this time in the incumbents' escape destinations from Washington. An anecdote-driven amble, Walsh's tour describes the decor, amenities, menus, and similar trivia. Of more historical relevance, Walsh, who for two decades past has held the White House beat for U.S. News & World Report, explores the recuperative value to presidents of getting out of Washington, and what they've done when out of town. Walsh crafts this information, which encompasses the entertaining, recreational, gustatory, and bibulous habits of vacationing chief executives, into reflections of their personalities. Gregarious ones such as LBJ and Clinton kept a crowd around, while introverts such as Nixon and Reagan cultivated solitude. Either way, official business often intruded, and Walsh narrates^B the momentous decisions presidents have made while down on a ranch or up at Camp David. Looking at every president since FDR, plus Washington, Jefferson, the two Adamses, and Lincoln, Walsh succeeds in sating popular curiosity in presidents' private lives. Gilbert Taylor
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