Award-winning White House correspondent and presidential historian
Kenneth T. Walsh’s latest book,
Celebrity in Chief
A history of the presidents and the culture of stardom,
With a New Epilogue on Hillary and “The Donald”
A comprehensive look at the history of America’s presidents
as “celebrities in chief”
since the beginning of the Republic.
by Kenneth T. Walsh
From FDR’s prop-driven Pan Am to the glimmering blue-and-white jumbo 747 on which George W. Bush travels, the president’s plane has captured the public’s awe and imagination and is recognized around the world as a symbol of American power. In this unique book, Air Force One is revealed as a very special habitat that functions as an invaluable window on each of the presidents who occupy it.
Based on interviews with five living presidents, scores of past and present government officials, and staff and crew members of Air Force One, Walsh’s book features countless fascinating and often outrageous stories of life aboard the “flying White House.”
Publish date: May 2004
AIR FORCE ONE
Published by Hyperion Books
“Walsh brings a journalist's eye and a historian's sense of scholarship…Walsh takes you behind the scenes, and into the inner sanctums of power aboard the president's plane. It's a fascinating history.”
Library Journal - Joyce M. Cox
This peek inside the "flying Oval Office" comes courtesy of U.S. News and World Report's award-winning White House correspondent, who has logged more than 200 trips aboard Air Force One. To document the history and evolution of the "flying White House," Walsh (Feeding the Beast: The White House Versus the Press) interviewed more than 120 people, including the plane's crews and staff, plus past presidents and White House officials. Americans once thought presidents should "never stray from the United States," but FDR "changed the whole dynamic," becoming the first airborne chief executive when he flew to a secret 1943 meeting with Churchill in Casablanca. Truman, who used "the plane itself as a power tool," was the first to fly routinely, and Eisenhower was the first to travel by jet. The code name Air Force One was introduced in Ike's era after air traffic controllers confused Eastern 610 with the president's Air Force 610. JFK made the code name public, and his sleek new 707 "seemed to embody modernity itself" after Jackie Kennedy and industrial designer Raymond Loewy devised the now-familiar blue-and-white exterior. Focusing on the mystique and prestige of Air Force One and its ascendancy as a symbol of world power, Walsh describes key decisions made in the air, leaving a contrail of anecdotes about presidential behavior aloft, and concludes by detailing the dramatic events aboard the presidential jet on September 11 when the controversial decision was made not to return to Washington. 8 pages of color, 8 pages of b&w photos.
by PW. Agent, Jillian Manus.
(May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
“For modern presidents, Air Force One has become far more than a magic carpet: It is a symbol of national pride, a central command post, and a personal sanctuary…Walsh captures both the men and their most memorable moments aboard. This is a first-class seat for a whale of a ride.”
Air Force One:
A History of the Presidents and Their Planes
Jonathan V. Last,
SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES