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.
©2013 Robert Dallek (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
The book is an intensely in depth look at the Kennedy White House's decision making process regarding almost exclusively Vietnam and Cuba. Though it is very detailed, it lacks the narrative appeal that "An Unfinished Life" possessed. As a big fan of nonfiction, American history, and JFK, this book was undoubtedly informative, but struck me as a bit dry, and focused almost entirely on the excruciating minutiae of what every person around Kennedy thought at every moment.
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