Combing Through the White House

Hair and Its Shocking Impact on the Politics, Private Lives, and Legacies of the Presidents

by Theodore Pappas

On Sale: 2024-08-20

Price: $24.99

Book Summary

A delightfully novel look at American history with photographs and illustrations, Combing Through the White House by encyclopedia editor Theodore Pappas explores how hair has not only affected the lives and legacies of the men and women surrounding the presidency, but has even changed the political landscape of the country.

About the Book

Discover a fascinating and novel look at the U.S. presidents, the first families, and American history—all through the lens of hair. With meticulous detail, engaging storytelling, and full-color visuals, encyclopedia editor Theodore Pappas combs through American history, teasing out long-forgotten and little-known ways that hair has influenced the presidency and the public and private lives, personal scandals, and tragedies of the men and women who have occupied the White House.

Go deep into the history of such topics as:

  • Abraham Lincoln's famously ridiculed appearance and the surprising role hair played in both his presidency and assassination
  • John F. Kennedy's connection to James Bond and how hair factored into his vast image-making and infidelities
  • The lush tradition of collecting hair as a way of honoring leaders, remembering our loved ones, and preserving their memories
  • Scientific hair analysis and how DNA has been used to solve long-standing presidential mysteries
  • The connection of hair to the lives, loves, scandals, and tragedies that shaped presidents, first ladies, and the nation at large


This unique window into the past shines entertaining new light on the decisions, relationships, and tragedies that have shaped the role of the president and the place of the U.S. in the world. Whether you're interested in presidential trivia or historical mysteries, Combing Through the White House personalizes the past through an element of life we can all relate to—hair—giving us new glimpses into our country and even ourselves.


'A talented writer presents a uniquely entertaining and edifying cultural history of the U.S. presidency via hair... The delightful snippets of presidential and U.S. history that Pappas has assembled in this engaging book entertain and inform. A thoroughly fun read for a wide audience.'

'Entrepreneurs see things that others miss. They leverage the past for a better tomorrow-and
with his entrepreneurial approach to history, Theodore Pappas will help you see our country
clearer, like wiping hair away from your eyes.'

'Theodore Pappas has written an erudite, witty, eminently charming book on a subject with
surprising richness and depth. This is cultural history at its most entertaining, by turns
moving and salacious. As Pappas ably demonstrates, a person's hair-especially
when that
person happens to be the most powerful man in the free world-is
the product of so much
more than a comb and a cut.'

'Theodore Pappas's book does two things brilliantly. First, you'll learn surprising facts that
will keep you busy at cocktail parties for the next century or two. Second, you'll see the world
through a clarifying new lens. Because hair is everywhere. Hair weaves (sorry) its way into
everything from politics, religion, literature, and identity. You'll never look at history-or
the protein filaments on the top of people's heads-the
same way again.'

'With his novel perspective, engaging prose, and entertaining eye for detail, Theodore Pappas
has combed through the White House and teased out moving, little-known
tales about our
'heads of state,' First Families, and country at large. Documentary producers would be wise
to take note.'

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781400246151
  • ISBN 10: 1400246156
  • Imprint: Harper Celebrate
  • On Sale: 2024-08-20
  • Pages: 256
  • List Price: $24.99
  • Publisher: Harper Celebrate
  • Publication Date: 2024-08-20
  • Category 1 : HISTORY / United States / General
  • Category 2 : HISTORY / United States / 19th Century
  • Category 3 : HISTORY / United States / 20th Century
  • Category 4 : HISTORY / Social History
  • Category 5 : POLITICAL SCIENCE / American Government / Executive Branch