||Invitations to Camp David, the presidential retreat in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland, are rare, limited to the closest members of the president's family and administration, and to the most notable foreign dignitaries. For those who will never visit it, W. Dale Nelson's book offers an intimate look at the camp and its eminent lodgers. Franklin D. Roosevelt, who selected the spot, which was originally built as a boys camp, called it Shangri-La. Harry Truman visited the rustic retreat only occasionally. In the 1950s, Dwight Eisenhower found it a perfect haven, added a small golf course, and renamed it after his father and grandson. Eisenhower was also the first to lift the veil of secrecy around the retreat by inviting Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to visit. With Khrushchev's visit, the "spirit of Camp David" came to symbolize one of the first thaws of the cold war. Other former Soviet Premiers would follow, including Leonid Brezhnev, who, it is said, was accompanied by a stewardess who spent the night in his cabin. It was in this tranquil setting that Lyndon B. Johnson imported aides to plan and debate the Vietnam War. After his reelection, Nixon went to the mountaintop to reorganize his administration. In the meantime, he had secret taping devices installed in the presidential lodge. It was Jimmy Carter, though, who restored Camp David's international fame by using it for the intense negotiations to achieve peace between Israel and Egypt.
|Editors Note 1
||The presidential retreat, Camp David, has become synonymous with the US image of political power at its highest level. Nelson offers a glimpse into the place and the men who spent time there from Roosevelt to Bush, detailing ephemera and gossip as well as more significant events such as meetings between Kennedy and Eisenhower after the Bay of Pigs, and Carter's sponsoring of negotiations between Begin and Sadat. Includes photographs to round out a wealth of interesting historical research. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.