Legacies of Camelot
Stewart and Lee Udall, American Culture, and the Arts
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
208 Pages | 6 x 9 | 49 b&w illus.
An insider’s view of cultural innovations in the Kennedy era and beyond
Selected as Secretary of the Interior by President John F. Kennedy, Stewart Udall had the idea to invite Robert Frost to take part in Kennedy’s inauguration. Frost’s unforgettable performance at that event set in motion cultural initiatives that led to the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap Farm Park, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Humanities, and the revived Ford Theatre. In Legacies of Camelot, L. Boyd Finch describes the growing partnership between government and the arts during the Kennedy-Johnson years, a remarkable story that until now has received only cursory attention.
A friend and associate of the Udalls, Finch offers an insider’s view of their roles in American cultural life, telling how the Arizonans brought their western heritage to Washington and, through their tireless efforts on behalf of artists both famous and unknown, helped spark a cultural renaissance in America.
Writing with an eye for telling detail, Finch describes the Udalls’ personal contacts with some of the most significant figures of the mid-twentieth century, from Frost and Sandburg, to Khrushchev and Stegner. Dozens of photos put readers into the Washington whirl that we now call Camelot.