Virtually unknown to the public or historians, White House photographers have developed amazing access to the presidents of the United States over the past half-century. In this book, long-time White House correspondent Kenneth T. Walsh tells their stories, emphasizing observations about the presidents the photographers got to know so well along with other key figures close to those presidents-including the first ladies, members of Congress, and important world leaders.
This book shows how official White House photographers have morphed into ultimate insiders within the American presidency, allowed to observe and take pictures of nearly everything Chief Executives do related to their job. The "photogs" have often become close friends with the presidents they have served. Using these bonds of trust and their own powers of observation, they created fundamental impressions and public images of the presidents through the art of photography. Acting not only as image makers but as visual historians, they have built pictorial chronicles of the presidency-intimate narratives of America's leaders in public and private, showing how they dealt with everyday life as well as moments of great crisis and opportunity. From children playing in the Oval Office to decisions to send troops into harm's way, images created by White House photographers can make or break a presidential administration as well as define an era.
Kenneth T. Walsh has been White House correspondent for U.S. News & World Report since 1986. He writes a weekly column, "The Presidency," and a daily blog, "Ken Walsh's Washington," both for U.S. News & World Report . He is one of the longest-serving White House correspondents in history and is the former president of The White House Correspondents' Association. Walsh appears frequently on television and radio, and gives many speeches around the country and abroad, and has taught at American University's School of Communication. This is his eighth book. Previous books include Celebrity in Chief: A History of the Presidents and the Culture of Stardom (2017) and Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America's Presidents and the Crisis of Leadership (2013).
Introduction Insider Views and Insider Insights Chapter One How Lincoln and FDR Set the Pace, and How Their Successors Wrote Their Own Rules Chapter Two Behind the Scenes with John F. Kennedy, Cecil Stoughton, and the Glamor Lensmen Chapter Three Behind the Scenes with Lyndon B. Johnson and Yoichi Okamoto Chapter Four Behind the Scenes with Richard Nixon and Ollie Atkins Chapter Five Behind the Scenes with Gerald Ford and David Kennerly Chapter Six Behind the Scenes with Jimmy Carter and a Missing Chief Photographer Chapter Seven Behind the Scenes with Ronald Reagan, Michael Evans, and Pete Souza Chapter Eight Behind the Scenes with George H.W. Bush and David Valdez Chapter Nine Behind the Scenes with Bill Clinton, Bob McNeely, and Sharon Farmer Chapter Ten Behind the Scenes with George W. Bush and Eric Draper Chapter Eleven Behind the Scenes with Barack Obama and Pete Souza Chapter Twelve Behind the Scenes with Donald Trump and His Commanding Style of Image Making Chapter Thirteen The Vital Role of the "Photodogs" Chapter Fourteen Master Photojournalists Who Made Their Mark on History Chapter Fifteen The Ultimate Insiders' Evolving Tools of the Trade Epilogue The Future of White House Photography Selected Readings