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

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

by Robert Klara
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Overview

The Hidden White House: Harry Truman and the Reconstruction of America's Most Famous Residence by Robert Klara

Now including an excerpt from THE DEVIL'S MERCEDES: The Bizarre and Disturbing Adventures of Hitler's Limousine in America by Robert Klara. Coming March 2017.

Critically acclaimed author Robert Klara leads readers through an unmatched tale of political ambition and technical skill: the Truman administration's controversial rebuilding of the White House.

In 1948, President Harry Truman, enjoying a bath on the White House's second floor, almost plunged through the ceiling of the Blue Room into a tea party for the Daughters of the American Revolution. A handpicked team of the country's top architects conducted a secret inspection of the troubled mansion and, after discovering it was in imminent danger of collapse, insisted that the First Family be evicted immediately. What followed would be the most historically significant and politically complex home-improvement job in American history. While the Trumans camped across the street at Blair House, Congress debated whether to bulldoze the White House completely, and the Soviets exploded their first atomic bomb, starting the Cold War.

Indefatigable researcher Robert 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. Leaving only the mansion's facade untouched, workmen gutted everything within, replacing it with a steel frame and a complex labyrinth deep below ground that soon came to include a top-secret nuclear fallout shelter,

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 the centerpiece of the country's national heritage. The job was by no means perfect, but it was remarkable—and, until now, all but forgotten.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250022936
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 10/22/2013
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 98,448
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

ROBERT KLARA is the author of the critically acclaimed 2010 book FDR's Funeral Train, which historian and author Douglas Brinkley called "a major new contribution to U.S. history." Klara has been a staff editor for several magazines including Adweek, Town&Country and Architecture. His freelance work has appeared in the New York Times, the New York Daily News, American Heritage, and The Christian Science Monitor, among other publications. Klara makes his home in New York City.
ROBERT KLARA is the author of the critically acclaimed FDR’s Funeral Train and The Hidden White House. His unveiling of the private world of the famous funeral train was hailed as “a major new contribution to U.S. history” by Douglas Brinkley. His second book, a dramatic account of Truman’s fight to save the White House, was called “popular history at its best” (The Christian Science Monitor). His writing has appeared in The New York Times, among other publications.

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The Hidden White House: Harry Truman and the Reconstruction of America's Most Famous Residence 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
NewsieQ More than 1 year ago
When I read the author’s last book, FDR’s Funeral Train, I vowed I’d read anything this guy writes. So, I snapped up my copy of The Hidden White House with elevated expectations – and Robert Klara delivered again. In spades. The Hidden White House is a great example of a type of history I’m getting more and more fond of reading: taking a small slice of history, a footnote if you will, and putting it under the microscope. But what Robert Klara brings to the endeavor is a graceful writing style, a gift for storytelling and a great sense of fun. The latter wasn’t as much evident (but still present) in FDR’s Funeral Train, a story that didn’t easily lend itself to a humorous approach. Robert Klara’s back notes are also little gems to be savored, to be saved for “dessert.” (How many authors have THAT said about their footnotes?) The only missing piece was a bibliography – for some reason one wasn’t included … and I believe a book of non-fiction isn’t complete without one. I can’t wait to find out what Robert Klara is tackling next. Whatever it is, I’m a buyer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written and informative.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very informative. A pleasure from beginning to end.