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The Road to Camelot

Inside JFK's Five-Year Campaign

Thomas Oliphant Curtis Wilkie

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Simon & Schuster
09 May 2017
A must-read for fans of presidential history. --USA TODAY Splendid...a gripping, authoritative campaign history. --The Boston Globe Terrific...a tougher and more balanced account of the long campaign than anybody's written yet. --The Christian Science Monitor A behind-the-scenes, revelatory account of John F. Kennedy's wily campaign to the White House, beginning with his bold, failed attempt to win the vice presidential nomination in 1956. A young and undistinguished junior plots his way to the presidency and changes the way we nominate and elect presidents.

John F. Kennedy and his young warriors invented modern presidential politics. They turned over accepted wisdom that his Catholicism was a barrier to winning an election and plotted a successful course to that constituency. They hired Louis Harris--a polling entrepreneur--to become the first presidential pollster. They twisted arms and they charmed. They lined up party bosses, young enthusiasts, and fellow Catholics and turned the traditional party inside out. The last-minute invitation to Lyndon B. Johnson for vice president in 1956 surprised them only because they had failed to notice that he wanted it. They invented The Missile Gap in the Cold War and out-glamoured Richard Nixon in the TV debates.

Now acclaimed, award-winning journalists Tom Oliphant and Curtis Wilkie provide the most comprehensive account, based on a depth of personal reporting, interviews, and archives. The authors have examined more than 1,600 oral histories at the John F. Kennedy library; they've interviewed surviving sources, including JFK's sister Jean Smith, and they draw on their own interviews with insiders including Ted Sorensen and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

From the start of the campaign in 1955 when his father tried to persuade President Johnson to run with JFK as his running mate, The Road to Camelot reveals him as a tough, shrewd political strategist who kept his eye on the prize. This is one of the great campaign stories of all time, appropriate for today's political climate.
By:   Thomas Oliphant, Curtis Wilkie
Imprint:   Simon & Schuster
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 160mm,  Spine: 33mm
Weight:   680g
ISBN:   9781501105562
ISBN 10:   1501105566
Publication Date:   09 May 2017
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Reviews for The Road to Camelot: Inside JFK's Five-Year Campaign

Two of our most gifted reporters have found the perfect subject to match their love of politics, their interviewing skills, and their literary talents. The result is a freshly told, endlessly riveting story that captures the reader every step along the way. --Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of The Bully Pulpit and Team of Rivals Oliphant and Wilkie's evocative, behind-the-scenes account goes beyond what we knew from Teddy White and others about how a youthful senator beat the political establishment and won the presidency. Their portrait of Kennedy shows him to be part gambler but also part cold realist whose political instincts served him well and broke new ground in presidential campaigns that his successors have followed. --Susan Page, Washington Bureau chief, USA TODAY A spellbinding story of the brash young scion of a wealthy Catholic family plotting his way to the presidency. Kennedy created the modern campaign while cajoling the canny and still-controlling party bosses. Though we know the ending, it's a nail-biting and well-told tale. --Cokie Roberts, author and political commentator for ABC News and NPR Two of the best political reporters around tell the story of an ambitious young senator who would not wait his turn and changed all the old rules to become our 35th president. The Road to Camelot is a wonderful narrative of the self-driven campaign of the man who became President Kennedy. An exciting time. A great read. --Richard Reeves, author of President Kennedy: Profile of Power and President Reagan: The Triump of Imagination The Road to Camelot grabs you on the first page and never lets go. Two of our country's finest journalists, take us deep inside John F. Kennedy's at once old-fashioned and brilliantly innovative political operation and show how it made him president. Along the way, they teach us a lot about our country. This book is a gift to history, to all who love politics, and to anyone who likes a good story, brilliantly told. --E. J. Dionne Jr., author of the New York Times Bestseller Why The Right Went Wrong


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