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White House Usher  By  cover art

White House Usher

By: Christopher B. Emery
Narrated by: Jonathan Salkoff
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Publisher's Summary

From January 1986 until March 1994, Chris Emery was part of one of the most unique services in the U.S. government - an usher in the White House.

For more than 200 years, a small office has operated on the state floor of the White House executive residence. Known as the Usher's Office, whose mission is to accommodate the personal needs of the first family, and to make the White House feel like a home. The Usher's Office is the managing office of the executive residence and its staff of 90-plus. The staff consists of butlers, carpenters, grounds personnel, electricians, painters, plumbers, florists, maids, housemen, cooks, chefs, storekeepers, curators, calligraphers, doormen, and administrative support. 

Ushers work closely with the first family, senior staff, social office, press office, secret service agency, and military leaders to carry out White House functions: luncheons, dinners, teas, receptions, meetings, conferences, and more. 

Chris Emery was only the 18th White House usher since 1891, and had the honor and privilege to serve presidential families for three years during the Reagan administration, four years for President H. W. Bush, and 14 months under President Clinton. His vignettes recreate intimate White House happenings from an insider’s viewpoint. 

Chris Emery was the only White House usher to be terminated in the 20th century. Tune in to find out which first lady fired him....

“With his book, White House Usher: Stories from the Inside, former usher Chris Emery gives his readers a peek inside what happens upstairs at the White House. Chris’ anecdotes tell a rich story of how America’s house really is the first families’ home. I loved my trip down memory lane.” (former first lady Barbara Bush, October 2017)

©2018 Christopher B. Emery (P)2020 Christopher B. Emery
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about White House Usher

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As close as you will come to being Residence Staff

Loved the stories. Brought me back to the good old days at the White House. Thanks Chris for the memories.

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Interesting. Maybe a little unfinished?

The stories were interesting - definitely only a perspective that a White House Usher would have, which I find so fascinating. I appreciate the stories and pranks. The one thing that I felt was lacking was more details after the phrases "What a sight to see!". I was left wanting more....like tell me what it looked like! Help me feel like I'm in your shoes and experiencing it from your eyes. Everything was matter of fact, which was fine, I would have just felt a deeper connection had those details been there. Overall great book and Chris should not have been terminated as White House Usher. You can tell he has a great heart.

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Excellent

What an insight enjoyed the book and learned a lot. To bad he did not retire from the White House

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Facetime with the Presidents

What makes this book real fun is that it is full of private little moments with the presidents and their families. There are only historical notes to anchor the book in what was happening at the time; but almost all of the stories are from Emery's point of view. The reader gets lots of time with the Reagan's, the Bush's and the Clintons. The inner workings of the 90's White House is revealed.

I came away liking the Regan's more, loving the Bushes and Hillary . . . I guess you should read it yourself.

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An Enjoyable Read

The author writes candidly about his time at the White House sharing his personal observations. He enjoyed quite a bit of personal time with the presidential families. It shares the difficulty the staff goes through in adjusting to a new administration and saying goodbye to the old. They all work very hard and long hours.

The writing was well done clear and concise while the narrator did a good job of reading. I found it engaging and entertaining.

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Really enjoyed this!

I love the way this is narrated and I truly enjoyed the book overall! I’m not really big into politics, so this was refreshing, as it gave a more personal perspective to our presidents.

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Waste of time

I kept listening to this book thinking that it had to get better; and it never did. It reminded me of reading the diary of a 12 year old or possibly the entries in a "day timer schedule organizer". I was wondering just who would have published this and discovered that a publishing house did not print this book: it was self published. There were really NO stories in this book; just a chronological listing of events, some minute by minute that was excessively boring. The narrator was not much better, but I assume that it may have been difficult to provide the audio for this book.

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Mixed feelings

I don't wish losing a job on anyone, including the author, and I think it's 100% wrong that a White House usher can be fired without just and fully proven cause. However, throughout the book, the author made himself appear to be a very close friend of the Bushes instead of simply a government employee. He should have known better.
As is true of all jobs, people need to be aware of and adhere to boundaries, both documented and unspoken. I have no doubt that the author was targeted by Hillary Clinton, but I also strongly believe that given his incredibly bold confidence and enormous ego, he almost dared her to challenge him.
The pages of this book clearly reflect a combination of never-ending pats on the back and in the end, victimization. It was obviously written as retribution and justification. I understand why it had to be self-published. I doubt a publisher would think there's a profitable audience for that.
I have always enjoyed White House non-fiction. This book was the exception.

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Quite enjoyable.

Excellent narrator. I would recommend this book. The author takes the reader on humorous and fascinating trips through the halls of the White House. It was interesting to find out what is a typical day for the President.

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Boring

Too much about himself, not enough important information. Lots of useless info. Not recommended.

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  • Paula
  • 12-23-20

Fascinating Glimpses of Life in the White House

I really enjoyed this book as it gave insight on three different presidents and their First Ladies plus how the running of the White House is organised. I had a slight misgiving with the narrator who came over a bit smug and smarmy. I think if I had read the book to myself I probably wouldn’t have got that impression of the author. Mr Emery served two presidential families for years before the Clintons and I think that is validation enough of his reputation.