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Night of Camp David (1965)

de Fletcher Knebel

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2691399,289 (3.07)7
 "What would happen if the president of the U.S.A. went stark-raving mad?" Back by popular demand, The New York Times calls the 1965 bestselling political thriller by the author of Seven Days in May, "A little too plausible for comfort."   How can one man convince the highest powers in Washington that the President of the United States is dangerously unstable--before it's too late?   Senator Jim MacVeagh is proud to serve his country--and his president, Mark Hollenbach, who has a near-spotless reputation as the vibrant, charismatic leader of MacVeagh's party and the nation. When Hollenbach begins taking MacVeagh into his confidence, the young senator knows that his star is on the rise. But then Hollenbach starts summoning MacVeagh in the middle of the night to Camp David. There, the president sits in the dark and rants about his enemies, unfurling insane theories about all the people he says are conspiring against him. They would do anything, President Hollenbach tells the stunned senator, to stop him from setting in motion the grand, unprecedented plans he has to make America a great world power once again. MacVeagh comes away from these meetings increasingly convinced that the man he once admired has lost his mind. But what can he do? Who can he tell?… (mais)
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Real-life is crazier than fiction.

This book was revived to market it as "What if the President Went Stark Raving Mad?" The frightening thing about this book is the evidence of against the President in the novel is very thin, and Trump in the first ten minutes of a Fox News interview or a brief tweet is much more insane than what happens in this book.

As an artifact of the 1960s, it can be quite enjoyable. The main character is a Senator who doesn't seem to have a whole lot of work to do. The women are portrayed from a sixties point of view, which means in rather dismissive and sexist terms. I think if I were the author's wife and I was reading how complacent and forgiving the wife character in this book is about a mistress, I might start doing a little detective work on my husband. The Senator does have an adorable teen daughter nicknamed "Chinky"(worst name ever) who regularly uses the endearment, "Pops." To top it off, the President doesn't seem all that insane.

If I had edited it, I would have sent the author back to work on the plot and suspense level because this could use a little juice.
( )
  auldhouse | Sep 30, 2021 |
After recently reading that several senior members of the Trump Administration had at one point questioned the President's mental stability, I initially assumed the novel was based on current events. The book, "Night of Camp David" looks at what might happen when the President becomes mentally unstable. But it was only after reading the book that I discovered it was originally written in 1965. However, the comments made and the questions raised by Trump Administration insiders, and the questions addressed in this 50-year old book do draw a strange parallel.

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe had stated that Justice Department officials had discussed recruiting cabinet members to use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein noted that he'd need a majority of 15 cabinet officials to make that happen, and thought he may already have the support of some of the members. Of course, that was never pursued, as far as we know, but the fact that it was even discussed is unnerving.

And remembering that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly called Trump "dumb as a rock", and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly called Trump and "idiot" and thought he was "unhinged", and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis indicated that Trump had the understanding of a 5th or 6th grader, you start to wonder what's going on behind the scenes.

GOP Senator Lindsay Graham reportedly said of Trump that he considered him a kook, crazy, and unfit for office. Both Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and former chief of staff Reince Priebus supposedly called Trump an idiot. Former economic adviser Gary Cohn was said to have referred to Trump as “dumb as shit,” and former national security adviser H.R. McMaster was another who reportedly said the president was a “dope", with the intelligence of a “kindergartner,”. Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said in November 2017 that Trump was “like an 11-year-old child.

These are Trump's people, not his political detractors or opponents.

It's all pretty scary that real people, political allies of the President, are making comments such as these. It makes the book all the more relevant, and does make you wonder just how difficult it would be to ever invoke the 25th Amendment to remove any President from office. ( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
Good mystery of sorts and terribly timely for a 1965 novel in 2019. ( )
  tmph | Sep 13, 2020 |
So in the event the POTUS does actually have a nervous breakdown, or goes stark staring nuts the guys who run Washington got it all covered, no problem .....right?! ( )
  NAgis | May 6, 2020 |
This is a thriller written in the 1960's about what would happen if the president of the United States went stark raving mad. In light of current events, it was recently reissued, and when Rachel Maddow referred to it on her show, I thought I would give it a reread. (I read it back at the time it was originally published, but had forgotten most of the details).
Wow is it dated, and not in a good way. It's boringly simplistic and poorly written. Definitely not worth a reread, and not worth reading in the first place either. ( )
1 vote arubabookwoman | Oct 2, 2019 |
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 "What would happen if the president of the U.S.A. went stark-raving mad?" Back by popular demand, The New York Times calls the 1965 bestselling political thriller by the author of Seven Days in May, "A little too plausible for comfort."   How can one man convince the highest powers in Washington that the President of the United States is dangerously unstable--before it's too late?   Senator Jim MacVeagh is proud to serve his country--and his president, Mark Hollenbach, who has a near-spotless reputation as the vibrant, charismatic leader of MacVeagh's party and the nation. When Hollenbach begins taking MacVeagh into his confidence, the young senator knows that his star is on the rise. But then Hollenbach starts summoning MacVeagh in the middle of the night to Camp David. There, the president sits in the dark and rants about his enemies, unfurling insane theories about all the people he says are conspiring against him. They would do anything, President Hollenbach tells the stunned senator, to stop him from setting in motion the grand, unprecedented plans he has to make America a great world power once again. MacVeagh comes away from these meetings increasingly convinced that the man he once admired has lost his mind. But what can he do? Who can he tell?

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