Camelot's end : Kennedy vs. Carter and the fight that broke the Democratic Party

by Ward, Jon (Writer of politics),

Format: Print Book 2019.
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Summary
From a strange, dark chapter in American political history comes the captivating story of Ted Kennedy's 1980 campaign for president against the incumbent Jimmy Carter, told in full for the first time.
The Carter presidency was on life support. The Democrats, desperate to keep power and yearning to resurrect former glory, turned to Kennedy. And so, 1980 became a civil war. It was the last time an American president received a serious reelection challenge from inside his own party, the last contested convention, and the last all-out floor fight, where political combatants fought in real time to decide who would be the nominee. It was the last gasp of an outdated system, an insider's game that old Kennedy hands thought they had mastered, and the year that marked the unraveling of the Democratic Party as America had known it.

Camelot's End details the incredible drama of Kennedy's challenge -- what led to it, how it unfolded, and its lasting effects -- with cinematic sweep. It is a story about what happened to the Democratic Party when the country's long string of successes, luck, and global dominance following World War II ran its course, and how, on a quest to recapture the magic of JFK, Democrats plunged themselves into an intra-party civil war.
And, at its heart, Camelot's End is the tale of two extraordinary and deeply flawed men: Teddy Kennedy, one of the nation's greatest lawmakers, a man of flaws and of great character; and Jimmy Carter, a politically tenacious but frequently underestimated trailblazer. Comprehensive and nuanced, featuring new interviews with major party leaders and behind-the-scenes revelations from the time, Camelot's End presents both Kennedy and Carter in a new light, and takes readers deep inside a dark chapter in American political history.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "In 1980, Ronald Reagan decisively defeated incumbent president Jimmy Carter. The so-called Reagan Revolution transformed both the Republican Party and the national political landscape. Ward, a longtime Washington-based political correspondent, asserts that the year's primary battle between Carter and Senator Ted Kennedy had an equally dramatic and transformative effect on the Democratic Party. Ward highlights the contrasts between their backgrounds and personalities. Carter grew up in rural poverty. Kennedy, of course, was born into wealth and privilege. Carter was driven, self-assured, and intensely ambitious. Kennedy, the youngest of nine children, often seemed overshadowed in that very competitive family, and he struggled to find a role. According to Ward, Carter eyed a run for the presidency as early as 1974, and he already resented Kennedy as a potential rival before he even met him. Ward may exaggerate the civil war within the Democratic Party; indeed, the national electoral map had been shifting well before the Carter-Kennedy duel. Still, this is a well-researched and valuable look back at a period of intense political turmoil that helped shape our current environment.--Jay Freeman Copyright 2018 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In his captivating debut political history, journalist Ward dissects the 1980 race for the Democratic presidential nomination, when Sen. Ted Kennedy, in an unprecedented move, challenged the embattled incumbent president, Jimmy Carter. Ward gives quick parallel accounts of both men's early lives, showcasing differences and similarities ("As with Carter, there were deep ties to family pulling Teddy toward a destiny he did not fully control"). Then Ward dives deep into Carter's first term, including Iran's capture of U.S. embassy hostages, and Kennedy's campaign, including an entire chapter devoted to a disastrous interview in which Kennedy struggled to articulate his motivation for running and rekindled public concerns about his involvement in the 1969 car accident that killed Mary Jo Kopechne. The book moves at a steady clip, but not by sacrificing scholarship-Ward draws on journalism of the day, previous biographies, histories, memoirs, and new interviews with some of the players. He engages fully with the complexities and contradictions of both men, including a depiction of Carter as "a man whose toothy grin masked a determined and competitive politician" with a mean streak that may surprise readers only familiar with the nonagenarian Habitat for Humanity volunteer. Ward's recounting of the seesaw of public opinion in 1980 makes for enthralling reading. Agent: Bridget Wagner Matzie, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Kennedy, Edward M. -- (Edward Moore), -- 1932-2009.
Carter, Jimmy, -- 1924-
Democratic Party (U.S.) -- History -- 20th century.
Presidents -- United States -- Election -- 1980.
Political campaigns -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Primaries -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Presidential candidates -- United States -- Biography.
Publisher New York :2019.
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description vi, 390 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 317-378) and index.
ISBN 9781455591381
1455591386
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