This is a puzzling work. From the title one would assume that it focuses on the White House grounds, but it has comparatively little on these eclectic lawns and gardens. Rather, the focus is on the agricultural pursuits of the early presidents, especially gentlemen farmers such as Washington and Jefferson. In trying to cover the agricultural and horticultural activities of presidents from the Founding Fathers to Lyndon Johnson, the book attempts too much; many chapters on individual presidents, such as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, are superficial at best. Occasional references are made to the White House grounds, but they are rarely integrated into the agricultural history. Not recommended.-- Richard Shotwell, Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge, Mass.