Entertaining at the White House with Nancy Reagan

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9780061350122: Entertaining at the White House with Nancy Reagan

Why is entertaining at the White House important to a presidency? How are guest lists and seating charts for state dinners determined? Is it difficult to throw a surprise party for the commander-in-chief? What role do children play during holidays at the White House? Former first lady Nancy Reagan answers these questions and more as she provides a personal look at life as a White House hostess in this stunning, richly illustrated book.

Carrying on a tradition that dates back to 1801, Mrs. Reagan embraced this role with a unique energy and joie de vivre rare among her predecessors. During the course of President Reagan's two terms in office, the Reagans hosted fifty-five state dinners and hundreds of other events, both intimate and grand. "It was a vital part of our roles as president and first lady," recalls Mrs. Reagan. "And it was a duty that we enjoyed immensely."

From her first private event as a White House hostess (President Reagan's surprise seventieth birthday party, which was mistakenly announced by Tom Brokaw on the Today show that very morning), to the state dinner with Mikhail Gorbachev that marked the unofficial end of the Cold War, to John Travolta's surprise dance with Diana, Princess of Wales, Mrs. Reagan has seen it all.

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About the Author:

Peter Schifando and J. Jonathan Joseph are internationally known interior designers and have been friends of Mrs. Reagan's for more than twenty years. Schifando worked with designer Ted Graber, who restored the living quarters of the White House. When Graber retired, Mrs. Reagan retained Schifando as her designer. Joseph is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers and former president of the organization's New England chapter. He assisted Schifando in the interior design of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley and is a partner in the Peter Schifando Company. The authors live in Los Angeles, California.



Peter Schifando and J. Jonathan Joseph are internationally known interior designers and have been friends of Mrs. Reagan's for more than twenty years. Schifando worked with designer Ted Graber, who restored the living quarters of the White House. When Graber retired, Mrs. Reagan retained Schifando as her designer. Joseph is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers and former president of the organization's New England chapter. He assisted Schifando in the interior design of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley and is a partner in the Peter Schifando Company. The authors live in Los Angeles, California.

From Publishers Weekly:

Schifando and Joseph sweep readers into the elegant world of Washington elite in this photo-heavy look at White House entertaining, particularly during the presidency of Ronald Regan. The authors begin with a look at various presidential approaches to entertaining and the emergence of a uniquely American style. The greater part of the volume is devoted to the intricate details in meal preparation, table setting, protocol and etiquette in the private gatherings and celebrations of the Regan administration; former first lady Nancy Regan shares her scrapbooks and journals with the same hospitality she showed visiting dignitaries. Though it steers clear of politics, Schifando and Joseph never stray from one of the books' central themes, the importance of White House entertaining in American statesmanship, not just a ceremonial procedure but a chance for real change in international relations, simply by virtue of formal proximity and the unexpected connections it can engender: "In the East Room of the White House, surrounded by Cold War hawks like Jeane Kirkpatrick and Dick Cheney, the leaders of the Communist Party were serenading the guests." Party-goers and party-throwers alike will enjoy this full-color behind-the-scenes look at the People's house, featuring hundreds of photos that take readers from world-famous celebrations to casual private dinners.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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