Presidential Retreats: Where the Presidents Went and Why They Went There

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Overview

Where do you go to relax when you’re the leader of the free world?

Even the president needs to get away from it all sometimes. From George Washington to Barack Obama, each of our presidents has sought solace from the tightly structured daily routines of the White House. As Ronald Reagan once said of his California ranch, “I do some of my best thinking there.” Peter Hannaford takes readers on a fascinating armchair vacation with each of our ...

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Presidential Retreats: Where the Presidents Went and Why They Went There

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Overview

Where do you go to relax when you’re the leader of the free world?

Even the president needs to get away from it all sometimes. From George Washington to Barack Obama, each of our presidents has sought solace from the tightly structured daily routines of the White House. As Ronald Reagan once said of his California ranch, “I do some of my best thinking there.” Peter Hannaford takes readers on a fascinating armchair vacation with each of our leaders, offering unique historical context for the why and the where of their chosen retreats.

Which president asked visiting foreign dignitaries to send him seeds to plant at his family home? Who called his vacation property “Sherwood Forest” because it was “a good place for an outlaw”? Which adventure-loving Commander-in- Chief set up a Summer White House in New York every year? Who liked to cruise aboard the presidential yacht when faced with momentous wartime decisions? Who polled the American people to help him decide where to vacation?

Presidential Retreats explores a side of the American presidency that we don’t often see—the downtime—as it offers an intriguing glimpse at the evolution of leisure time in this country.

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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post - T. Rees Shapiro
…an engaging book in which each president gets a chapter summarizing his time in office, complete with anecdotes about his private retreat…Hannaford deserves praise for the odd and interesting tidbits he's compiled.
Publishers Weekly
There’s much more to learn about presidential retreats than the location of Camp David, as Hannaford shows in his book on the places where the chief executives recharge and rest. Hanaford, president of the PR firm Hannaford Enterprises and senior communications adviser to President Reagan, explains the need to get away from the unending pressures of the White House and spending quality time with family, away from prying eyes. The tour includes George Washington’s scenic Mt. Vernon estate, John Adams’s quiet Peacefield in Massachusetts, and Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest plantation, where he found respite from “the hubbub of Monticello.” Whereas Andrew Jackson fled to his island refuge, Rip Raps, at Hampton Roads Harbor, Va., Abe Lincoln found solace at his Soldiers’ Home retreat just outside Washington, D.C. Franklin D. Roosevelt vacationed at his familyestates at Hyde Park, N.Y., and Warm Springs, Ga., to clear his head. Other restful spots for presidents include JFK’s stately Hyannis Port, Mass.; LBJ’s raucous Texas ranch; and Richard Nixon’s Key Biscayne, Fla., and San Clemente, Calif., retreats.. Hannaford brings everything up to date,including current tour schedules, with a pleasing format and anecdotes catering to Americans’ taste for history and tradition. 8 pages of photos, 1 map. (Oct.)
Washington Post Book World
“In Presidential Retreats, Peter Hannaford explores the places throughout history where our nation’s leaders have kicked up their feet. The result is an engaging book in which each president gets a chapter summarizing his time in office, complete with anecdotes about his private retreat.”
From the Publisher
"Hannaford brings everything up to date...with a pleasing format and anecdotes catering to Americans’ taste for history and tradition." —Publishers Weekly
The Washington Times
"An enjoyable and insightful look at an often overlooked topic."
Kirkus Reviews
Hannaford (Reagan's Roots: The People and Places that Shaped his Character, 2011, etc.), a Republican public relations specialist and associate of Ronald Reagan, adds to his writings on presidents and their office with a comprehensive discussion of presidential vacation retreats. The author presents his material chronologically, by president. Each section concludes with a summary statement that provides details of the presidential homes, retreats, museums and libraries associated with each of the nation's leaders. The author provides addresses, phone numbers, websites, business hours and information about tours and other attractions, making it easy for people who live within reach of the presidential sites to visit. Some of the highlights: Long Branch, N.J., emerged as a popular summer watering hole for a number of post–Civil War presidents. Several sites, like Lincoln's Cottage at the Soldier's Home in NW Washington D.C.'s Armed Forces Retirement Home, have been extensively restored and opened to the public. There, Lincoln spent one-quarter of his presidency and drafted the Emancipation Declaration. Hannaford also discusses the activities presidents enjoyed at their retreats, including fishing, golf, wilderness hikes and yachting--e.g., Truman with the USS Williamsburg. Hannaford also provides brief biographical snapshots of each president and a concise outline of major developments and concerns during their years in office. Breezily written and enjoyable, this book opens up a different perspective on the presidency.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451627145
  • Publisher: Threshold Editions
  • Publication date: 10/30/2012
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 508,972
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Hannaford is president of Hannaford Enterprises, Inc., a public relations/public affairs consultancy he founded in 1998. He also is a senior counselor for APCO Worldwide, a large public affairs/strategic communications firm based in Washington. In Ronald Reagan’s 1976 presidential nomination campaign Hannaford was co-director of issues and research; in the 1980 campaign, senior communications adviser to Reagan. Hannaford is the author of numerous articles and eleven published books.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xi

1 George Washington, 1st President 1

2 John Adams, 2nd President 10

3 Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President 17

4 James Madison, 4th President 23

5 James Monroe, 5th President 29

6 John Quincy Adams, 6th President 34

7 Andrew Jackson, 7th President 38

8 Martin Van Buren, 8th President 44

9 William Henry Harrison, 9th President 48

10 John Tyler, 10th President 51

11 James K. Polk, 11th President 55

12 Zachary Taylor, 12th President 59

13 Millard Fillmore, 13th President 63

14 Franklin Pierce, 14th President 66

15 James Buchanan, 15th President 70

16 Abraham Lincoln, 16th President 74

17 Andrew Johnson, 17th President 85

18 Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President 91

19 Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th President 99

20 James A. Garfield, 20th President 107

21 Chester A. Arthur, 21st President 111

22 Grover Cleveland, 22nd & 24th President 115

23 Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President 119

24 William McKinley, 25th President 123

25 Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President 128

26 William Howard Taft, 27th President 134

27 Woodrow Wilson, 28th President 139

28 Warren G. Harding, 29th President 144

29 Calvin Coolidge, 30th President 149

30 Herbert Hoover, 31st President 155

31 Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President 164

32 Harry Truman, 33rd President 173

33 Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President 184

34 John F. Kennedy, 35th President 193

35 Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President 206

36 Richard M. Nixon, 37th President 218

37 Gerald R. Ford, 38th President 237

38 James Earl ("Jimmy") Carter, 39th President 248

39 Ronald Reagan, 40th President 258

40 George H. W. Bush, 41st President 269

41 William J. Clinton, 42nd President 279

42 George W. Bush, 43rd President 291

43 Barack Obama, 44th President 303

44 Camp David 311

Bibliography 323

Acknowledgments 327

Index 329

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 10, 2012

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Call me a dork

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

    Call me a dork - but every once in a while I love to read a little non fiction about presidents and history. Maybe it is because I live right next door to Washington, D.C. Or maybe because I like to think that the President and his family are regular people and have a story beyond the White House. This book fulfilled all my nerdy needs and at just the right time - middle of a crazy election season!

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