Friday Reads: Dinner in Camelot

“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.  Topics may be new titles added to the library, selections from the Staff Picks shelf or about something she recently read.  Admittedly, there is a definite slant toward nonfiction, because, well, she’s a reference librarian and likes to learn new things.  Guest bloggers take a turn sometimes too.  No matter the source, good reads are featured here.   This blog was written by reference librarian, Donna Burgess.

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Dinner in Camelot by Joseph A. Esposito, with a Foreword by Rose Styron

Imagine hosting a dinner with some of the world’s most distinguished and famous guests.

In April 1962, President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, invited America’s greatest scientists, writers and scholars to dine at the White House. Included in the guest list were 49 Nobel prize winners.

“Held at the height of the Cold War, the dinner symbolizes a time when intellectuals were esteemed, divergent viewpoints could be respectfully discussed at the highest level, and the great minds of an age might all dine together in the rarified glamour of the ‘people’s house.”

One invited guest, Linus Pauling, had been protesting outside the White House that afternoon. He opposed the Cold War, and nuclear activity. Later he was critical of Kennedy’s handling of Cuba and the Cuban Missle Crisis.

This book is a snapshot of the Kennedy years and of the glamour and intellectual aura that surrounded the “Camelot couple.”

Take a short tour down memory lane and peruse the photos of John Glenn, James Baldwin,

William Styron, and group photos of this highbrow crowd.

JFK’s quote about the evening captures the event best:

“I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

Pick up this gem and reminisce about those halcyon days.

Call # 973.922 ESP on the New nonfiction shelf.

 

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