Please take a moment to review Hachette Book Group's updated Privacy Policy: read the updated policy here.

Camelot's End

Camelot's End

Kennedy vs. Carter and the Fight that Broke the Democratic Party

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 It was the last gasp of an outdated system, an insider’s game that old Kennedy hands thought they had mastered, and the year that marked the unraveling of the Democratic Party as America had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.
Read More

Genre: Nonfiction / Political Science / Political Process / Campaigns & Elections

On Sale: January 8th 2019

Price: $14.99 / $18.99 (CAD)

Page Count: 400

ISBN-13: 9781455591374

What's Inside

Read More Read Less

Reader Reviews

Praise

"A masterful account of an all but forgotten episode in modern American politics: the epic clash between Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy for the 1980 Democratic nomination. An accomplished journalist, Ward brilliantly recreates an era when, in the aftermath of Watergate and the country's defeat in Vietnam, American power and prestige were waning and the country's faith in its institutions was being sorely tested. Against this backdrop, his portrait of his two protagonists who fought for the soul of their party is sharp and insightful, capturing both the strengths and glaring flaws of both men. CAMELOT'S END is a must-read for anybody interested in American politics."—Michael Isikoff, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump
Read More Arrow Icon
"Well written, well reported, and compelling, Jon Ward's CAMELOT'S END paints a picture of two flawed and ambitious politicians and destiny's collision course for them. Beyond the political stakes seen by the Kennedy and Carter camps, Ward manages to draw out the drama of the philosophical choices the two represented, and the character of the Democratic Party and indeed the nation. It's a sheer joy to read."— Jake Tapper, CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent
Read More Arrow Icon
"Jon Ward's vivid telling of what may be the last missing chapter in the saga of the Kennedy family is compellingly told, and rescues history from the hagiography too often associated with the mythical Camelot. Good historical writing is no longer forthcoming from the academy. So, we must turn to writers like Ward to do that at which colleges and universities have failed so miserably. CAMELOT'S END is a first-rate work, so let us hope it is not the end of Ward's contributions to American history."—Craig Shirley, presidential historian and New York Times bestselling author of December 1941 and Reagan Rising
Read More Arrow Icon
"CAMELOT'S END is a fabulous work of history that explores the titanic political battle in 1980 between President Jimmy Carter and Senator Ted Kennedy. In novelistic fashion and with a keen eye for detail, Jon Ward plumbs the human drama behind a fight that tore apart the Democratic Party -- a high-stakes confrontation that reverberates to this day."—Del Quentin Wilber, New York Times bestselling author of Rawhide Down and A Good Month for Murder
Read More Arrow Icon
"Ward writes with subtle confidence about an important hinge in history, when national Democratic identity was challenged and changed. The story is borne by two vivid personalities -- one a born-again, agrarian outsider, fiercely disciplined and occasionally ruthless, who might in less capable hands be dismissed as a flash-in-the-pan president; the other a pampered, indulgent, and often reckless understudy of Camelot's faded glory, who never knew freedom until he failed. CAMELOT'S END moves through an important time of testing with power and pace. The profiles drawn are sharp and memorable. The reader grows richer with every page, reminded that behind the foggy memories of a hostage crisis, high gas prices, and economic anxiety, real political actors fought over delegates, with each other, and for what they believed. This passion for politics is woven into our history and skillfully retold here."—Major Garrett, Chief White House Correspondent with CBS News and host of The Takeout
Read More Arrow Icon
"Anyone who wants to understand how our presidential campaigns came to be the way they are needs to read this rollicking, surprising account of an election season whose twists and turns have never, until now, been fully understood by anyone other than the participants. And there's a reason most of them didn't want the rest of us to find out."—Sasha Issenberg, bestselling author of The Victory Lab
Read More Arrow Icon
"In CAMELOT'S END, Jon Ward skillfully resurrects the poisonous 1980 conflict between Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy that sowed new divisions in the Democratic Party and left it in a political wilderness for the next twelve years."—Curtis Wilkie, author of The Road to Camelot: Inside JFK's Five-Year Campaign
Read More Arrow Icon
"[A] fine dual political biography that becomes a riveting tale of a party seemingly in chaos...Ward provides deep insight into American politics in the past five decades...A useful reminder of a past era that resonates with contemporary politics."—Kirkus
Read More Arrow Icon

Reader Reviews