October 20, 2013

Robert Dallek spoke about his book, Camelot's Court: Inside the Kennedy White House, at Politics & Prose on Sunday, October 20, 2013.

In his acclaimed biography of JFK, Robert Dallek revealed Kennedy, the man and the leader, as never before. In Camelot's Court, he 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 acumen, among them Attorney General Robert Kennedy, his "adviser-in-chief"; Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara; Secretary of State Dean Rusk; National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy; and trusted aides Ted Sorensen and Arthur Schlesinger. Yet the very traits these men shared also created sharp divisions. Far from unified, JFK's administration was an uneasy band of rivals whose personal ambitions and clashing beliefs ignited fiery debates behind closed doors.

With skill and balance, Dallek details the contentious and critical 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 deeply in surrounding himself with the best and the brightest, yet who often found himself disappointed in their recommendations. The result is a striking portrait of a leader whose wise resistance to pressure and adherence to personal principles, particularly in matters of foreign affairs, offer 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.

Camelot's Court: Inside the Kennedy White House Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062065858
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Harper Perennial - September 16th, 2014

October 19, 2013

James Reston Jr. spoke about his book, The Accidental Victim, at Politics & Prose on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

That is the shocking argument put forth by acclaimed historian James Reston, Jr. Based on years of research and interviews, this revelatory new book makes the case that Texas Governor John Connally, not President John F. Kennedy, was the intended target of Lee Harvey Oswald.

Oswald's motive was personal, not political. After he attempted to defect to the Soviet Union, his military discharge was changed from honorable to dishonorable. The proud ex-Marine protested directly to fellow Texan Connally, then Secretary of the Navy, and received a classic bureaucratic brush-off. From that day on, Oswald began nursing a deep, even murderous grudge.

Reston masterfully charts the path Oswald took toward that fated moment in Dallas, his hatred of the governor driving him to purchase a mail-order rifle, position himself in the Texas School Book Depository building, and attempt to settle his score with Connally.

Marshaling all the available evidence – some of it never before seen – Reston will change the way we understand this epochal event: In one of American history’s most tragic ironies, President John F. Kennedy was as an accidental victim on November 22, 1963.

The Accidental Victim: JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald, and the Real Target in Dallas Cover Image
ISBN: 9781624908705
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Zola Books - September 12th, 2013

October 2, 2013

Steven Kinzer spoke about his book The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War at Politics & Prose on Wednesday, October 2, 2013.

During the 1950s, when the Cold War was at its peak, two immensely powerful brothers led the United States into a series of foreign adventures whose effects are still shaking the world. John Foster Dulles was secretary of state while his brother, Allen Dulles, was director of the Central Intelligence Agency. In this book, Stephen Kinzer places their extraordinary lives against the background of American culture and history. He uses the framework of biography to ask: Why does the United States behave as it does in the world?

The Brothers explores hidden forces that shape the national psyche, from religious piety to Western movies—many of which are about a noble gunman who cleans up a lawless town by killing bad guys. This is how the Dulles brothers saw themselves, and how many Americans still see their country’s role in the world. Propelled by a quintessentially American set of fears and delusions, the Dulles brothers launched violent campaigns against foreign leaders they saw as threats to the United States. These campaigns helped push countries from Guatemala to the Congo into long spirals of violence, led the United States into the Vietnam War, and laid the foundation for decades of hostility between the United States and countries from Cuba to Iran.

The story of the Dulles brothers is the story of America. It illuminates and helps explain the modern history of the United States and the world.

You can watch a segment of the event below.

The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250053121
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - October 7th, 2014

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