Dinner in Camelot
The Night America's Greatest Scientists, Writers, and Scholars Partied at the Kennedy White House
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in PoliticsNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Popular CultureNew Books Network April 11, 2018 Rebekah Buchanan
In his new book, Dinner in Camelot: The Night America’s Greatest Scientists, Writers, and Scholars Partied at the Kennedy White House (ForeEdge, 2018), Joseph Esposito examines the night of April 49, 1962 when President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy hosted America’s leading scientists, writers, activists, and thinkers to honor 49 Nobel Prize Winners. With guests such as American hero and astronaut John Glenn, Linus and Ava Helen Pauling who had picketed the White House prior to the dinner, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and writers including Pearl Buck, John Dos Passos, Robert Frost, and James Baldwin the dinner served as one of the most important nights in the White House.
Esposito positions readers in the political climate of the time and shares a glimpse into a political climate where intellectuals and immigrants were honored, and even those with political differences could come together to honor one another for one night. Well researched, Esposito’s work gives a fascinating glimpse not only into a single night at the White House, but also a snapshot into the world of a number of the important and influential minds of the early 1960s. He shows us how this impressive gathering not only honored these important thinkers, but also created relationships and friendships for years to come.
Rebekah Buchanan is an Associate Professor of English at Western Illinois University. Her work examines the role of narrative in peoples lives. She researches zines, zine writers and the influence of music subcultures and fandom on writers and narratives. You can find more about her on her website, follow her on Twitter @rj_buchanan or email her at [email protected].