Jennifer B. Pickens, expert on White House traditions and the East Wing, releases her latest coffee table book, Entertaining at the White House: Decades of Presidential Traditions. On glossy pages with beautifully appointed design, Pickens
meticulously documents 60 years of entertaining customs at the iconic address, offering readers an insider’s invitation into its greatest events. Intimate insight is given into the planning, innovation, and unparalleled generosity that went into these occasions created by the first families, from the Kennedys to the Trumps.
“Jennifer Pickens has done a masterful job at bringing together the best of the rich traditions, events and celebrations we have grown to love from America’s first families,” said William Seale, prolific American and White House historian. “Entertaining at the White House is colorful and interesting—the ultimate behind-the-scenes look for all to enjoy. It is another fine example of her diligent work as an author and a historian.”
With her usual fervor and congeniality, Pickens portrays the pomp and pageantry of state dinners, the family-friendly festivities of popular American traditions, and more hosted at the White House. Backed by thorough research and over 400 photographs, many never seen before, as well as charming anecdotes from presidents, first ladies, White House staff, and reporters, Pickens details how each first couple personally shaped social diplomacy and entertaining style at the White House.
“I have such fond memories of my time living in the White House, from the elegant Sta
te Dinners and the joyous functions for inner-city children to my own wedding in the Rose Garden,” says former first daughter Tricia Nixon Cox. “My parents always made sure that the White House was open and welcoming to all. Jennifer Pickens has done a beautiful job highlighting decades of presidential traditions, celebrations and social events at the White House. This book is a treasure and a delight for those who love entertaining and White House history as much as my family and I always will.”
White House traditions such as the Easter Egg Roll, Fourth of July, and Turkey Pardon, as well as Christmas and Hanukkah celebrations, are highlighted. Unique occasions like the only White House prom, Apollo 11 dinner, White House 200th anniversary celebration, weddings, and, most recently, Mrs. Trump’s dinners in honor of the White House Historical Association are featured alongside scenes from private presidential retreats, where many first families entertain world leaders.
“The White House is the stage for receiving our nation’s most important guests and hosting presidential ceremonies and events,” says Stewart D. McLaurin, president, White House Historical Association. “This insightful work by Jennifer Pickens takes the reader behind the scenes at the White House to see how these are orchestrated and who makes the magic of the White House happen.”
After over four years of interviews, research, and writing, Entertaining at the White House, published by Fife and Drum Press, is now available in bookstores and online. As with Pickens’ other top-selling books, Christmas at the White House andPets at the White House, a portion of book proceeds will go to the White House Historical Association.
“This book is a labor of love for me,” says Pickens. “After attending my first White House social dinner, I thought about the process and all that went into executing such a marvelous event, and I knew then that I had to research and write about it. To have First Lady Melania Trump write the foreword is a tremendous honor.”
NOTE: Pickens is available for interviews about her new book, current and past White House events, and customs and traditions.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer B. Pickens is a White House traditions and East Wing expert, historian, author, speaker, and event planner. As such, she has conducted numerous interviews with members of America’s first families, White House social secretaries, chiefs of staff, presidential aides, White House insiders, and Executive Residence staff. She is the author of three successful books, Christmas at the White House, with a foreword by Mrs. Laura W. Bush; Pets at the White House, with a foreword by Mrs. Barbara Bush; and Entertaining at the White House, with a foreword by Mrs. Melania Trump. As a White House expert, Pickens has offered her insight on a host of national television and radio programs and has served on the Texas Historical Records Advisory Board, Friends of the SMU Libraries board, and other prominent and civic boards. She is a graduate of Southern Methodist University and lives in Dallas with her husband and their four daughters.
For more information visit jenniferpickens.com and follow on Twitter: @JenniferPickens and Instagram: @JenniferBPickens.