BN.com Gift Guide

Camelot's Court: Inside the Kennedy White House

( 3 )

Overview

A Globe & Mail 100 Selection

In Camelot's Court, acclaimed JFK biographer Robert Dallek takes an insider's look at the brain trust whose contributions to the successes and failures of Kennedy's administration were indelible.

Kennedy purposefully assembled a dynamic team of advisers noted for their brilliance and ambition, but the administration was an uneasy band of rivals engaged in fiery debates behind closed doors. Dallek details the ...

See more details below
Paperback (Large Print)
$24.02
BN.com price
(Save 26%)$32.50 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (14) from $5.99   
  • New (11) from $8.42   
  • Used (3) from $5.99   
Camelot's Court: Inside the Kennedy White House

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.99
BN.com price

Overview

A Globe & Mail 100 Selection

In Camelot's Court, acclaimed JFK biographer Robert Dallek takes an insider's look at the brain trust whose contributions to the successes and failures of Kennedy's administration were indelible.

Kennedy purposefully assembled a dynamic team of advisers noted for their brilliance and ambition, but the administration was an uneasy band of rivals engaged in fiery debates behind closed doors. Dallek details the contentious issues of Kennedy's years in office, including the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, civil rights, and Vietnam. He illuminates a president who believed in surrounding himself with the best and the brightest but often found himself disappointed with their recommendations. The result is a striking depiction of a leader whose wise resistance to pressure and adherence to personal principles offers a cautionary tale for our own time.

Meticulously researched and masterfully written, Camelot's Court is an intimate tour of a tumultuous White House and a new portrait of the men whose powerful influence shaped the Kennedy legacy.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
“Dallek’s portraits of advisers including Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and Walt Rostow are lapidary, and it is difficult to quarrel with his judgments.”
Evan Thomas
“Dallek is an assiduous digger into archives. . . . The story of how a glamorous but green young president struggled with conflicting and often bad advice while trying to avoid nuclear Armageddon remains a gripping and cautionary tale of the loneliness of command.”
Beverly Gage
“Think The Best and the Brightest meets Team of Rivals. . . . Dallek is one of the deans of presidential scholarship.”
USA Today
“Dallek brings us closer to the complexity and the humanity of Kennedy’s geopolitics, and helps us grasp the uncertainties he and his men faced in an abbreviated presidency.”
The New York Times Book Review - Jacob Heilbrunn
Dallek's portraits of advisers including Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and Walt Rostow are lapidary, and it is difficult to quarrel with his judgments.
Publishers Weekly
Non-experts are likely to have a hard time assessing what significant new facts are revealed in this meticulous but well-trod account of J.F.K.’s tenure in the White House. Dallek (An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917–1963) walks the reader through the basics: Joseph Kennedy Sr.’s ambitions; his congressional years; and his years in the White House dealing with the Soviet Union, Vietnam, and Cuba. Kennedy’s relationship with his advisers, dubbed “the best and the brightest” (Robert McNamara, Ted Sorenson, McGeorge Bundy, et al.), has also been thoroughly described elsewhere. The conclusions Dallek reaches are less than profound or original: “The affection for generated by his persona and the tragedy of his assassination have encouraged positive assessments of his leadership.” And despite the book’s length, there are important omissions: Dallek’s discussion of Kennedy’s sexual appetites in the first chapter relies heavily on the 2012 tell-all memoir of intern Mimi Alford, but readers are given no basis against which to assess the reliability of her account. Dallek may well have strong reasons for relying on her, but, inexplicably, he doesn’t tell us what they are. (Oct.)
Library Journal
★ 09/15/2013
Dallek (An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917–1963) adds new insights beyond those in his excellent 2003 biography of JFK. Here is a compelling view of the president's often frustrating interactions with cabinet members and high-placed government officials. Kennedy encouraged this "ministry of talent" to speak their minds, but their advice was often ignored as JFK gained the confidence to rely on his own instincts, learning that the best-intentioned advisers could present bad options. Dallek discusses Kennedy's major challenges: U.S.-Soviet relations, nuclear disarmament, Castro's Cuba, Vietnam, and to a lesser extent, civil rights. His chief adviser and confidant was Robert F. Kennedy, who is depicted in detail, as are many others whom JFK either relied upon or mistrusted (e.g., figures from the CIA or military). As expected, Dallek focuses on the brinksmanship of the Cuban Missile Crisis. He weighs whether Vietnam was an important or peripheral Cold War front. Dallek concludes that Kennedy realized that since he could not control events in nearby Cuba, he would certainly not be able to do so in faraway Vietnam; he would likely have found a way out of Vietnam had he served a second term. VERDICT Readers who keep up with the body of work on JFK will appreciate Dallek's page-turning style. Historians will value his excellent scholarship as he, in effect, revisits David Halberstam's classic, The Best and the Brightest.—Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA
Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-01
The author of An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917–1963 (2003) returns with descriptions and assessments of the fallen president's principal advisers. Dallek (The Lost Peace: Leadership in a Time of Horror and Hope, 1945–1953, 2010, etc.) begins with some quick chapters about JFK's pre-presidential life before commencing his voyage. The president's brother Robert, the attorney general, emerges as the key adviser, reappearing continually in the narrative, especially during the most crucial issues--the missile crisis of 1962 and the civil rights agenda (which, as Dallek notes, took a back seat to foreign affairs). The author introduces each adviser with a description of his (yes, all were men) background and notes that the new president put into his Cabinet--and into his non-Cabinet advisory groups--Republicans and others who annoyed the left wing of his own party. The author shows us the roles that each played and the reputation that he had among the others and with the president. Arthur Schlesinger, for example, was more at the fringes than popular understanding would have it; the Joint Chiefs of Staff were continually at war with the White House on potential actions in Cuba, Laos, Vietnam and elsewhere. (Unsurprisingly, they favored military action.) Deputy National Security Adviser Walt Rostow emerges as the most hawkish of the bunch, and Secretary of State Dean Rusk, the least decisive and/or consistent. Dallek examines each of JFK's crises in detail, focusing on what the advisers were (or were not) telling him, and he notes several times that their failure to reach consensus was a serious problem. The author spares no one. He chides JFK for his womanizing, LBJ for his ego and McNamara for his credulousness. Here is perhaps the only account of the 1963 March on Washington that does not mention King's speech. More than a little admiring of Arthur, but there's cleareyed criticism of his Round Table.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062278555
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/8/2013
  • Edition description: Large Print
  • Pages: 768
  • Sales rank: 1,378,798
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Dallek is the author of An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963 and Nixon and Kissinger, among other books. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, and Vanity Fair. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2014

    Read it

    The other guy is dumb. But this book is very good

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2014

    Wow

    Wow.






































    I never read it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)