Senator Jim McVeagh is approached by President Mark Hollenbach at a journalists’ dinner and invited to a Night of Camp David the same evening. While there, the President states that using wiretaps on every phone in America is a good way to prevent crime. He then goes on a paranoid rant against his own Vice President, OMalley. He asks Jim what he thinks of various alternatives he is considering as running mates for his reelection campaign. One of the alternatives is Jim himself.
After returning home, Jim learns that others are concerned about the President’s paranoia too. When the President offers Jim the vice presidency, he accepts but doesn’t mention his long-time mistress, Rita. Soon afterwards, Jim breaks it off with Rita.
As the President gets increasingly paranoid, he floats many plans to remove rights from the American people beginning with freedom of the press. He also sleeps less and less while becoming moody. When he talks of merging with Canada and Scandinavia, Jim believes he speaking about conquering those countries. It is then that Jim concluded the President is insane.
Night of Camp David seems like it was written for our current political climate of a President who also appears to have “delusions of persecution and perhaps grandeur as well.” However, it was originally published in 1965 well before the Trump and Nixon presidencies it most resembles. It is still a topical book even if it is written in a slower pace than current thrillers. It’s worth a read for political junkies. 3 stars.
Thanks to Vintage Anchor Books and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.