This is such a valuable recording! It was several informal conversations that Jackie Kennedy had with historian Arthur Schlesinger about JFK. They took place in her living room, about four months after the assassination, and one can hear them smoking and the ice clinking in their glasses. Most of the conversations were about JFK's political career, and some parts were more interesting than others (I don't really care about diplomatic relations with France, but I loved hearing about the Cuban Missile Crisis and how Jackie refused to leave, saying that if they were all going to die, she wanted to do it as a family). The most interesting things were Jackie's ideas about what a wife should be, her restoration of the White House, and the personal details about Jack (ex. he was an Anglophile who could read a book a day and loved historical objects).
Good book. Was surprised at Mrs. Kennedy's negativity towards some powerful people. Surprised is an understatement.
Fascinating to read, but also kind of hard to follow the transcripted dialogue. It was also ruined for me after the book about all of JFK's affairs came out. Poor Jackie Kennedy....
I checked this out for the cd's of Jackie.They were not included either.
I always knew that Jackie Onassis was an elitist snob who was mad that people copied her style, and listening to this just cinched it for me. She doesn't like anybody, it seems, and supposedly, Jack did. The way I see it, Jackie Onassis is one of those women who absolutely hated their husbands when they were alive, and then when they died suddenly, they became a SAINT and everything they said or did suddenly becomes golden and sanctified. That is my opinion of how she tried to create the Camelot myth. Nice to hear it, though, if you want to believe the fairytale she perpetuated, and now for my one good thing to say. I love her voice. I wish I had a 'babykins' voice, I have always loved her voice.
I thought the interviews would give me an inside glimpse at one of America's most well-known presidents and the Kennedy family. However, in reality, most of the conversations centered around Jackie's mostly negative opinions of, well, everybody. She does not mince words. From Mrs. Nixon (bitter and rude) to Martin Luther King (she says he held orgies), people in Wisconsin (suspicious & “Eww!”) Jackie does not approve. I always assumed Jackie was someone to be admired but a lot of what she said rubbed me the wrong way. She believed that a woman should be submissive in her marriage, so much so that at one point she relays a story in which someone asked her where her views came from and she replied, "all of my opinions come from my husband." She truly believed that her place was to create a relaxing environment for Jack and so therefore she wasn't really involved much in politics. Schlesinger has to remind her of important dates and details, and her common refrain is "Wasn't it?" "Didn't he?" She comes across as a spectator in her own life. Jackie also viewed Jack’s religious beliefs to be a "superstition.” She thought that his evening prayers were "a little childish mannerism", and she found them amusing. Maybe Jack wasn't all that religious- I don't know, but I don't know that Jackie knew either. She doesn't come across and being very knowledgeable even when it comes to Jack, instead she seems rather catty and her breathy, Marilyn Monroe type voice, doesn't help.
Most common answer from Mrs. Kennedy: "Oh, I don't know." Boring.
I'm rather disappointed.
If you saw the ABC special about the tapes you saw the most interesting parts of this book. There were extremely dry passages about the campaign trail and JFK's cabinet.
I was rather surprised that the CD's of the actual tapes were not included with the check out though they were plainly shown in the picture accompanying the listing.
Though her daughter, Caroline, presents a lovely introduction, the memoir itself is superficial and often confusing jumble of snippets-and snipes. Fairly, as also noted by Ms Kennedy-Schlossberg, Mrs Kennedy was likely still grief stricken when she allowed the sessions. The obsequious Mr. Schlessenger, the interviewer, did her no favors in allowing the interviews to ramble. Not the best read of the Camelot couple.
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