The Dark Side of Camelot

The Dark Side of Camelot

by Seymour M. Hersh

Paperback(Paperback Edition)

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A monumental work of investigative journalism from one of the greatest reporters in American history, revealing the Kennedy White House as never before.

In this widely acclaimed and bestselling book, the award-winning investigative reporter Seymour M. Hersh reveals a John F. Kennedy we have never seen before, a man insulated from the normal consequences of behavior long before he entered the White House. His father, Joe, set the pattern: Kennedys could do exactly what they wanted. There was no secret that money and charm could not hide. Kennedys wrote their own moral code.

By the end of Jack Kennedy's life, his private recklessness had begun to edge into his public life, putting him — and his nation — at risk. Now, for the first time, Seymour Hersh tells the real story of those risks, as he brilliantly re-creates the life and world of a crisis-driven president who maintained a facade of cool toughness while negotiating private compromises unknown to even his closest advisers.

"Not merely a great read, Much of what's in The Dark Side of Camelot is also 1) new; 2) shocking; 3) well supported; and 4) worth knowing." —Jacob Weisberg, Slate

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316360678
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 09/01/1998
Edition description: Paperback Edition
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 190,871
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range: 13 Years

About the Author

Seymour M. Hersh is one of America's premier investigative reporters. In 1969, as a freelance journalist, he wrote the first account of the My Lai massacre in South Vietnam. In the 1970s, he worked at the New York Times in Washington, DC, and New York. He has received more than a dozen major journalism prizes, including the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting and four George Polk Awards. His books include Cover-up: The Army's Secret Investigation of the Massacre of My Lai 4 and The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House, which won both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award.

Read an Excerpt

The Dark Side of Camelot

By Seymour M. Hersh

Back Bay Books

ISBN: 0-316-36067-8

Chapter One

Author's Note

This is not a book about John Kennedy's brilliant moments, and his brilliant policies. Nor is it a book about the awful moment of his death and why he was shot.

John Kennedy's policies and his life contained many superb moments. After his death, his glamour and wit combined with his successes in foreign affairs and domestic policies-real and imagined-to create the myth of Camelot. But there was a dark side to Camelot, and to John Kennedy.

I began writing this book knowing that it would inevitably move into a sensitive area: When is it relevant to report on the private life of a public man? The central finding that emerged from five years of reporting, and more than a thousand interviews with people who knew and worked with John F. Kennedy, is that Kennedy's private life and personal obsessions-his character-affected the affairs of the nation and its foreign policy far more than has ever been known.

This is a book about a man whose personal weaknesses limited his ability to carry out his duties as president. It is also a book about the power of beauty. It tells of otherwise strong and self-reliant men and women who were awed and seduced by Kennedy's magnetism, and who competed with one another to please the most charismatic leader in our nation's history. Many are still blinded today.

In writing this book, my hope is that I have been able to help the nation reclaim some of its history.

Seymour M. Hersh October 1997


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