When the White House Was Ours

When the White House Was Ours Loosely based on Porter Shreve s own childhood When the White House Was Ours is the atmospheric and captivating story of a family s struggle to stay together against great odds It s and while t

  • Title: When the White House Was Ours
  • Author: Porter Shreve
  • ISBN: 9780618722105
  • Page: 216
  • Format: Paperback
  • Loosely based on Porter Shreve s own childhood, When the White House Was Ours is the atmospheric and captivating story of a family s struggle to stay together against great odds.It s 1976, and while the country prepares to celebrate the bicentennial, Daniel Truitt s family is falling apart His father, Pete, has been fired from yet another teaching job, and his mother, ValLoosely based on Porter Shreve s own childhood, When the White House Was Ours is the atmospheric and captivating story of a family s struggle to stay together against great odds.It s 1976, and while the country prepares to celebrate the bicentennial, Daniel Truitt s family is falling apart His father, Pete, has been fired from yet another teaching job, and his mother, Valerie, is one step away from leaving for good But when Pete lucks into a crumbling mansion in the nation s capital, he makes a bold plan to start a school under his own roof where students and teachers will be equals Replete with the wry humor, human insight, and cultural resonance that characterizes Shreve s critically acclaimed fiction, When the White House Was Ours will be a joy to anyone whose family has lived through an idealistic time and ended up in an era of compromise.

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      216 Porter Shreve
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      Published :2019-08-26T17:03:10+00:00

    About “Porter Shreve

    • Porter Shreve

      Porter Shreve grew up in Washington, DC, and has lived in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, Missouri, England, Israel, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, North Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, and California For several years in his twenties he worked on the night city desk at the Washington Post, and to psyche himself up for the long haul of writing books, he rode a bike from Washington State to Massachusetts His first novel, The Obituary Writer 2000 , was a New York Times Notable Book his second and third, Drives Like a Dream 2005 and When the White House Was Ours 2008 , were Chicago Tribune Books of the Year and his fourth, The End of the Book, is forthcoming in February He has coedited six anthologies and published fiction, nonfiction, Op Eds and book reviews in many journals, magazines and newspapers, including Witness, Northwest Review, Salon, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post and the New York Times He has been featured or interviewed on NPR s Morning Edition and the Diane Rehm Show, among other programs, and he has taught at a number of universities, including the University of Michigan, Purdue and the University of San Francisco He lives with his wife, writer Bich Minh Nguyen, and their two children in the Bay Area.

    166 thoughts on “When the White House Was Ours

    • For anyone either growing up in the 70's or who enjoyed some level of the hippie life, this book is for you! It is loosely based on the experiences of the author, Porter Shreve, whose parents once started an alternative school of their own.The protagonist is a precocious twelve-year-old boy named Daniel. Having lost yet another school administrator's job, Daniel's father moves the whole family to Washington, D.C. to start an alternative school which has always been his dream. They rent a big, wh [...]


    • Part memoir and part fiction; Porter Shreve's novel brings together a look into the life of a teenager and his dysfunctional family during the 1976 bicentennial era in Washington D.C. The characters are three-dimensional that reveal their emotions and motivations which propels the reader to read chapter after chapter to see what the characters will do next. The dialogue and setting are descriptive without being bogged down by extra wording. Shreve has a quality about his writing that makes you s [...]


    • A charming work--at once quirky and philosophical--When the White House Was Ours is a genuine look at the idealism of the late 1970s: democratic education, living economically and off the land, students as teachers and teachers as students, the tail-end of the Bohemian lifestyle, the hope of a Democratic president in Jimmy Carter. At the same time, the novel is truly a study in the idealism of the Truitt family--sticking together through thick and thin, and through the improbable dream of erecti [...]


    • Hmmmm. I liked this book for some of the same reasons I didn't like it. I was 12 in 1976 a year younger than the narrator. The year stands out for me, too, for many reasons. The book certainly evokes many of the feelings and events from the period (although a few things didn't ring true, most did). I realize that the point has more to do with optimism tinged with suspect, with a the upheaval and change in times, etc etc etc. But as a child of the 70s, the book spoke to me in a different way. Th [...]


    • I was surprised by how much I liked this book. Despite its title, the book is more about people than politics (although politics plays an important role). As a teacher myself, it was both delicious and painful to watch these characters go about trying to start their own haphazard hippy school. I found myself enjoying the antics of these losers (most of them are kind of losers) and enjoying the anticipation of how it would all end up. One thing I didn't find believable was how little drama they h [...]


    • Daniel moves to D.C. under strange circumstances. His father was fired as a school administrator and decides to start his own school. It's the mid-1970s and a hippie school is just what D.C. needs! Daniel is a history buff and loves living in D.C but his family is just plain strange. Various adults filter through the school as "teachers" whose credentials are fudged to sound impressive. The school fakes projects to help the house (like winterizing the house to save money). This is one of those q [...]


    • Dreadful novel of loose-knit, cash-poor liberal family that moves to D.C. to begin a school in a tumbledown house. It happens to be the same summer when liberal hero (?) Jimmy Carter is nominated and later elected president. As the school opens and struggles, the hippie aunt of the narrator takes up with another man in the house, that man later has an affair with an underage student and marijuana is grown in one of the bedrooms. Meanwhile, the narrator's daughter winds up going to school with Am [...]


    • It felt very timely to read this book as the country prepares for the inauguration of Barack Obama. As Jimmy Carter is elected president, the issues of the day are the economy and the energy crisis Sound familiar? Anyway the quirky characters trying to make a better school made me think back to the idealism of the 60's and 70's--and also of the hippies aka refugees of the sixties. Shreve had great characters in Daniel and the enigmatic Quinn. I read htis for my book group and we had great conver [...]


    • It was fun to read a book set in D.C with portions about the bicentennial, around the 4th of July. This story was interesting and a bit unusual. It was both entertaining and serious. The main character was easy to relate to. I was happy that the author kind of wrapped up the story at the end, though I think he could have just let it end too. Anyhow, I would probably read another book by this author.


    • Great story. And early — stumbling look — at the sort of critical-thinking education we're seeing move into todays classrooms. But you definitely wanted to say, go get a job people.Really liked all the Presidential trivia. It would be interesting to see what Daniel would dig up about Bush and now, Obama. Also liked the reunion at the end. Takes the story full-circle. So of the


    • I recently discovered Porter Shreve when I read his first novel, "The Obituary Writer" and I now looking forward to reading more of him. This latest book was a trip down memory lane, as it was set in the 70's at the time of the bi-centennial and Jimmy Carter's election to office. The characters were interesting.


    • I enjoyed this story of a quirky, idealistic family who started an alternative school in DC in the 70s. The historical context was interesting, and the family's adventures (for lack of a better word) kept me turning the pages and entertained. The most fun part was to imagine the different DC locales they talked about, and how they've changed since that time. Definitely worth a read!


    • Sometimes you want to read a good book that has no violence, no tragedy, no big romance, but that keeps your interest. Porter Shreve's book about a family trying to open and run a school in Washington, D.C. is just that kind of story. A gentle coming of age story, told by a boy, this book recreates the ambiance of the 1980's Washington.


    • Pleasant but very average coming of age story. I enjoyed reading it but expect to forget it quickly, too. Without the local interest, I'd probably only give it 2 stars, but it is always fun to read about places you know.


    • Fun, quick read about quirky family whose father after getting fired decides to open a free thinking school for children with little money and hippie drop outs for faculty in Washington DC during the Carter election.


    • This is a tale of a quirky, likable, dysfunctional family trying to live, survive, and run an alternative school in their home (a white house) in Washington, D.C. in 1976. It's funny, frustrating, tender, and enjoyable all the way to the end.


    • Quirky, charming book about a family in the 1970s that moves to DC to start an alternative, "free-thinking" school. I think I liked it more because of the setting - it was fun to read about DC neighborhoods and think about how local areas have changed over the years.


    • I love Porter Shreve and this was a worthwhile read if for no other reason than to delight in this author's writing style & startlingly unique descriptive phrasing. However, my favorite book of his remains "The Obituary Writer".


    • An interesting concept: a boy and his family move to D.C. to start a nontraditional school, where students are encouraged to learn what they want to learn, to teach their own classes, and be equal with their teachers.I guess my concern is that I didn't really like any of the characters. Oops.


    • Only 50 pages in, but I'm liking it a lot. He is a good writer; easy to read. I've also read his Obituary Writer which was also good.


    • 1970s book. Couldn't really get attached to any of the characters, and basically had to make myself finish it. Not "the one".


    • Good, enjoyable, but not fantastic look at Washington, DC way back in the Bicentennial year of 1976. A "coming of age novel"?







    • Unusual book - vivid characters set in the 70's. Growing up with hippie parents. Well written but won't be of interest to all.


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