Hidden White House Harry Truman and the Reconstruction of America's Most Famous Residence

ISBN-10: 1250000270
ISBN-13: 9781250000279
Edition: N/A
Authors: Robert Klara
List price: $26.99 Buy it from $14.29
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Description: In 1948, Harry Truman, President of the United States, almost fell through the ceiling of the Blue Room in a bathtub into a meeting of the Daughters of the American Revolution. A team of the nation's top architects was hastily assembled to inspect  More...

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Book details

List price: $26.99
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 10/22/2013
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 384
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.320
Language: English

In 1948, Harry Truman, President of the United States, almost fell through the ceiling of the Blue Room in a bathtub into a meeting of the Daughters of the American Revolution. A team of the nation's top architects was hastily assembled to inspect the White House, and upon seeing the state the old mansion was in, insisted the First Family be evicted immediately. What followed was the biggest home-improvement job the nation had ever seen. The Trumans moved across the street to the Blair House, the Congress argued about how much the job would cost, and then, in the midst of it all, the Soviets exploded an atomic bomb.Indefatigable researcher Rob Klara reveals what has, until now, been little understood about this episode: America's most famous historic home was basically demolished, giving birth to today's White House. The facade was left intact, but the entire structure was taken apart, removed, and replaced with a steel structure with a complex series of steel-reinforced subbasements and bomb shelters.  The story of Truman's rebuilding of the White House is a snapshot of postwar America and its first Cold War leader, undertaking a job that changed a piece of America's national heritage. The job was by no means perfect, but it was remarkable-and history has nearly forgotten about it.

Robert Klarais an editor and writer. His work has appeared in theNew York Times, the New YorkDaily News,American Heritage,New Jersey Monthly, andThe Christian Science Monitor. Klara has been a staff editor for numerous magazines, includingTown & CountryandArchitecture, and has also worked as a researcher for legendary author Gay Talese. He lives in New York City.

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