President is at Camp David

W. Dale Nelson, Author, David Eisenhower, Foreword by Syracuse University Press $29.95 (196p) ISBN 978-0-8156-0318-4
Nelson's entertaining history of the presidential retreat in Maryland's Catoctin Mountains sheds light on a relatively obscure but not unimportant aspect of the presidency. Using memoirs, archives and interviews, he relates how FDR selected the site, how Truman made the first improvements and how succeeding chief executives have used (or neglected to use) the camp's rustic facilities. Nelson emphasizes how Camp David, named for President Eisenhower's father and grandson, has often provided an informal setting for summit meetings such as the 1960 Eisenhower-Khrushchev talks, which forged the short-lived ``Spirit of Camp David'' thaw, and the meetings between Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin that President Carter hosted and that led to the 1978 Camp David Accords. The historical meetings reviewed here are not as interesting as the trivia Nelson has collected: Margaret Truman's opinion that the place was claustrophobic and gloomy; Pat Nixon's warning to incoming First Lady Nancy Reagan that ``Without Camp David you'll go stir crazy.'' Nelson was an AP reporter for 40 years. Photos. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
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Paperback - 216 pages - 978-0-8156-0628-4
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