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Hillary Clinto

Hillary Rodham Clinton plans book on White House entertaining

April 15, 1999
Web posted at: 5:52 p.m. EDT (2152 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Does it take a village to entertain in the White House?

Maybe not, but it does require "warmth of hospitality" and "elegance and innovation," all of which will be explained in the latest book from Hillary Rodham Clinton.

She's to chronicle her style of White House entertaining in a book to be published by Simon & Schuster this fall.

"An Invitation to the White House" is Mrs. Clinton's third book, following up on her 1996 "It Takes a Village" and last year's "Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Letters to the First Pets."

The first lady's spokeswoman, Marsha Berry, says the book will focus on how the Clintons have "advanced the availability" of the White House by increasing the number and diversity of people invited to events.

It's to highlight the access that the Clintons have given to more people," Berry says, "more types of entertainment ... from (rock singer) Lou Reed to (cellist) Yo-Yo Ma."

Mrs. Clinton will be assisted in the research and preparation of the book by professional writer Cheryl Merser, with additional help from Kaki Hockersmith of Arkansas. Hockersmith helped redecorate portions of the White House.

"The Clinton White House has been noted for the warmth of its hospitality and for the elegance and innovation of its events," says Carolyn Reidy, president of Simon & Schuster's Trade Division.

"This book will enable readers to see close-up just how the Clintons' marvelous style of entertaining has evolved over the past several years," she says.

The book also is expected to include a retrospective on the history of White House entertaining.

It's planned to showcase more than 20 events in detail -- annual receptions, visits by heads of state and official occasions, cultural events, private parties and holiday festivities.

Illustrations are to include photographs and reproductions of invitations, guest lists, schedules and other materials. More than 30 recipes of dishes served at the White House are scheduled for inclusion.

Berry says Mrs. Clinton at a later point is expected to write a more personal book about her time in the White House. If someone is going to write a book about her, "Hillary Clinton would be the best source for a book on Hillary Clinton," Berry says.

Another spokeswoman for the first lady, Julie Mason, adds that Mrs. Clinton plans to give her proceeds from the book to charitable organizations not yet announced.

Reuters Limited contributed to this report.

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