With over 300 lavish illustrations, American history comes to life. Tracing such themes as how eating habits have changed, to the diplomatic and political interests served during Presidential meals, this book will be of interest to anyone with an interest in American history and politics.
People may forget that in the early days presidents neither traveled much nor entertained extensively. Washington, DC was a very provincial town up to and through the Civil War. But however primative the conditions, there was entertaining at the White House during that period.
Entertaining for political reasons gained momentum in the post–Civil War years, and during the golden age of industrialization in the late 19th century. The presidents traveled more, holding lavish dinners on the road, as the transportation system improved and refrigeration became more widespread.
As the country moved into the 20th century, other factors influenced presidential entertaining––improvements in communication and the birth of modern media and celebrity all effected the Presidency.