First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton has worked to make the White House a distinctly American showcase -- from historically accurate renovations and acquisitions of important American art, to celebrations of jazz and gospel music and an expanded emphasis on American cuisine. The first family's home has also been distinguished by the diversity of Americans honored and welcomed there. In this lavishly illustrated book, the First Lady invites you into the best-known house in the country and celebrates the very best of American history, arts, and culture.
"An Invitation to the White House" shows how the White House figures prominently in the cultural and political life of the country, as well as in the life of the first family. You'll have a front-row seat at the full range of White House occasions, from an elegant and historic State Dinner for the Emperor and Empress of Japan to the annual Easter Egg Roll, from a performance by Lou Reed to a private recital for President Clinton by a saxophone quartet. You'll follow a State Visit -- from the planning of the seating arrangements to the arrival ceremonies to the dancing after dinner -- and meet the dedicated staff who work behind the scenes to make it all possible. This is a White House you won't see on any public tour: As historian Carl Anthony writes in his introduction, "This book makes the rooms come alive -- one can almost taste the food and hear the music."
With more than 350 color and black-and-white photographs, menus and invitations from State Dinners and other events, and more than fifty recipes used in the White House kitchens, here is a glimpse of the day-to-day life behind the historic events that take place in the people's house.
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The most famous house in the United States serves as both private home and public domain. Every year brings an assortment of international dignitaries, down-home performers, local civic events, and family meals. Encompassing both rich historic tradition and modern lifestyles, the White House is a national symbol of pride in our distinct culture. An Invitation to the White House brings together detailed history and recent events with style. Each page is covered with lush photographs; some are public displays of formal greetings and gift exchanges, while others are obviously personal family snapshots from the Clintons' collection. From Chelsea showing her young cousin the family Christmas tree to Bill and Hillary listening raptly to a speech by Stephen Hawking, you'll find shots showing every facet of life at the White House. Many photos are devoted to showing the house "behind the scenes," and they present us with details like flower arrangements, plate garnishings, and delicate calligraphy for the place cards at formal dinners.
The accompanying text by Hillary Rodham Clinton is written with a pleasing mixture of fine detail--"Mrs. Barak and I did not stay awake as late as our husbands did"--and general sociopolitical commentary such as "The unified stance solidified that weekend was yet another reminder of the importance of NATO's alliance." Food is an important part of this book, and many sample menus have been included in full. The last chapter is filled with delightful recipes from the White House chefs, and includes such treats as new potatoes with lobster and bacon, hot pumpkin soup, and mocha cake. Whether you're a history buff, a die-hard Democrat, or just a fan of vivid coffee-table books, An Invitation to the White House is the next best thing to an actual visit. --Jill LightnerAbout the Author:
Hillary Rodham Clinton was elected to the U.S. Senate from New York in 2000 and is the author of Living History; An Invitation to the Whitehouse: At Home with History; and Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids' Letters to the First Pets.
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