Family of Freedom: Presidents and African Americans in the White House

Routledge
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Barack Obama is the first African American President, but the history of African Americans in the White House long predates him. The building was built by slaves, and African Americans have worked in it ever since, from servants to advisors. In charting the history of African Americans in the White House, Kenneth T. Walsh illuminates the trajectory of racial progress in the US. He looks at Abraham Lincoln and his black seamstress and valet, debates between President Johnson and Martin Luther King over civil rights, and the role of black staff members under Nixon and Reagan. Family of Freedom gives a unique view of US history as seen through the experiences of African Americans in the White House.
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About the author

Kenneth T. Walsh is the chief White House correspondent for "U.S. News and World Report". He is the author of the daily blog Ken Walsh s Washington for usnews.com, and The Presidency, a weekly column for the U.S. News Weekly. He has covered the presidency since 1986 and is one of the longest-serving White House correspondents in history. Walsh is the former president of the White House Correspondents Association and has served as an adjunct professor of communication at American University in Washington, DC. He is the author of six other books, including two others published by Paradigm, "Prisoners of the White House" and "Family of Freedom".

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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Oct 23, 2015
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781317259640
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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It didn t take long for Barack Obama to make his mark as the biggest political star to ever occupy the White House. Over the course of his two terms in office, Obama has injected the American presidency deeper into popular culture than any of his predecessors. He and his wife Michelle have become iconic figures, celebrities of the first order.This book, by award-winning White House correspondent and presidential historian Kenneth T. Walsh, discusses how the Obamas reached this point. More important, it takes a detailed and comprehensive look at the history of America s presidents as celebrities in chief since the beginning of the Republic. Walsh makes the point that modern presidents need to be celebrities and build on their fame in order to propel their agendas and rally public support for themselves as national leaders so that they can get things done.Combining incisive historical analysis with a journalist s eye for detail, this book looks back to such presidents as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as the forerunners of contemporary celebrity presidents. It examines modern presidents including Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy, Franklin Roosevelt, and Theodore Roosevelt, each of whom qualified as a celebrity in his own time and place. The book also looks at presidents who fell short in their star appeal, such as George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, Richard Nixon, and Lyndon Johnson, and explains why their star power was lacking.Among the special features of the book are detailed profiles of the presidents and how they measured up or failed as celebrities; an historical analysis of America s popular culture and how presidents have played a part in it, from sports and television to movies and the news media; the role of first ladies; and a portfolio of fascinating photos illustrating the intersection of the presidency with popular culture."
With the advent of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as presidential nominees, the examination of the role of celebrity culture in the White House takes on a fresh appeal. This book, by award-winning White House correspondent and presidential historian Kenneth T. Walsh, takes a detailed and comprehensive look at the history of America’s presidents as "celebrities in chief" since the beginning of the Republic. Walsh makes the point that modern presidents need to be celebrities and build on their fame in order to propel their agendas and rally public support for themselves as national leaders so that they can get things done.

Combining incisive historical analysis with a journalist’s eye for detail, this book looks back to such presidents as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as the forerunners of contemporary celebrity presidents. It examines modern presidents including Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy, Franklin Roosevelt, and Theodore Roosevelt, each of whom qualified as a celebrity in his own time and place. The book also looks at presidents who fell short in their star appeal, such as George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, Richard Nixon, and Lyndon Johnson, and explains why their star power was lacking.

Among the special features of the book are detailed profiles of the presidents and how they measured up or failed as celebrities; an historical analysis of America’s popular culture and how presidents have played a part in it, from sports and television to movies and the news media; the role of first ladies; and a portfolio of fascinating photos illustrating the intersection of the presidency with popular culture. An update looking at Hillary and "the Donald" puts contemporary politics in perspective with the evolution of presidential celebrity.

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