Camelot's Court by Robert Dallek
Inside the Kennedy White House

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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.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Fifty years after John F. Kennedy’s assassination, presidential historian Robert Dallek, whom The New York Times calls “Kennedy’s leading biographer,” delivers a riveting new portrait of this president and his inner circle of advisors—their rivalries, personality clashes, and political battles. In Camelot’s Court, Dallek analyzes the brain trust whose contributions to the successes and failures of Kennedy’s administration—including the Bay of Pigs, civil rights, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Vietnam—were indelible.

Kennedy purposefully put together a dynamic team of advisors noted for their brilliance and acumen, including Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy, and trusted aides Ted Sorensen and Arthur Schlesinger. Yet the very traits these men shared also created sharp divisions. Far from being unified, this was an uneasy band of rivals whose ambitions and clashing beliefs ignited fiery internal debates.

Robert Dallek illuminates a president deeply determined to surround himself with the best and the brightest, who often found himself disappointed with their recommendations. The result, Camelot's Court: Inside the Kennedy White House, is a striking portrait of a leader whose wise resistance to pressure and adherence to principle offers a cautionary tale for our own time.

 

About Robert Dallek

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Robert Dallek is the author of Nixon and Kissinger, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963, among other books. An elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Society of American Historians, for which he served as president from 2004 to 2005, Dallek lives in Washington, D.C.
 
Published October 8, 2013 by Harper. 523 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Camelot's Court
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Aug 12 2013

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 Full Review of Camelot's Court: Inside the K... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Below average
on Aug 05 2013

...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.

Read Full Review of Camelot's Court: Inside the K... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

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