If they thought about it all, most people would assume that a Chief of Protocol is someone who determines the mise à places at state banquets and keeps visiting dignitaries from sitting on their hats; a Mikadoesque figure performing a necessary but faintly absurd function. It’s surprising therefore to discover that the author of Keeper of the Gate – Chief of Protocol of the United States of America from March 1982 to January 1989 – was a woman of considerable power in the Reagan administration. This memoir describes the odyssey of an exotic-looking Arab girl from Tennessee to a position of influence in the White House.
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