Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy

Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy

Language: English

Pages: 368

ISBN: 1401324258

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In 1964, Jacqueline Kennedy recorded seven historic interviews about her life with John F. Kennedy. Now, for the first time, they can be heard and read in this deluxe, illustrated book and 8-CD set.

Shortly after President John F. Kennedy's assassination, with a nation deep in mourning and the world looking on in stunned disbelief, Jacqueline Kennedy found the strength to set aside her own personal grief for the sake of posterity and begin the task of documenting and preserving her husband's legacy. In January of 1964, she and Robert F. Kennedy approved a planned oral-history project that would capture their first-hand accounts of the late President as well as the recollections of those closest to him throughout his extraordinary political career. For the rest of her life, the famously private Jacqueline Kennedy steadfastly refused to discuss her memories of those years, but beginning that March, she fulfilled her obligation to future generations of Americans by sitting down with historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and recording an astonishingly detailed and unvarnished account of her experiences and impressions as the wife and confidante of John F. Kennedy. The tapes of those sessions were then sealed and later deposited in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum upon its completion, in accordance with Mrs. Kennedy's wishes.

The resulting eight and a half hours of material comprises a unique and compelling record of a tumultuous era, providing fresh insights on the many significant people and events that shaped JFK's presidency but also shedding new light on the man behind the momentous decisions. Here are JFK's unscripted opinions on a host of revealing subjects, including his thoughts and feelings about his brothers Robert and Ted, and his take on world leaders past and present, giving us perhaps the most informed, genuine, and immediate portrait of John Fitzgerald Kennedy we shall ever have. Mrs. Kennedy's urbane perspective, her candor, and her flashes of wit also give us our clearest glimpse into the active mind of a remarkable First Lady.

In conjunction with the fiftieth anniversary of President Kennedy's Inauguration, Caroline Kennedy and the Kennedy family are now releasing these beautifully restored recordings on CDs with accompanying transcripts. Introduced and annotated by renowned presidential historian Michael Beschloss, these interviews will add an exciting new dimension to our understanding and appreciation of President Kennedy and his time and make the past come alive through the words and voice of an eloquent eyewitness to history.

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complex interplay among the First Lady, her Fine Arts Committee, the White House Historical Association, du Pont, and Boudin. After a year, Jacqueline had her reassigned to oversee the new White House guidebook. In September 1962, the First Lady wrote du Pont, “Why are some people so avid for publicity—when it poisons everything. I hate & mistrust it & no one who has ever worked for me who liked it has been trustworthy.” 77. WILLIAM VOSS ELDER III (1933– ) succeeded Mrs. Pearce as curator.

cooperation with Latin American countries and position the United States as the friend and champion of reform, not dictatorship. 43. In December 1961, the Kennedys went to Venezuela and Colombia. 44. In June 1962, they visited Mexico City, riding through ebullient crowds, as guests of President Adolfo López Mateos (1909–1969), president of Mexico from 1958 to 1964, whom both Kennedys liked and admired for his social reforms. 45. She refers to their arrival for JFK’s meeting with

July 24, 1961. xxviii “ran a curio shop”: JBK to Lady Bird Johnson, December 1, 1963. xxviii “the setting in which”: A Tour of the White House, CBS-TV, February 14, 1962. xxviii “a New England sitting room”: New York Times, January 29, 1961. xxix “She was a worker”: Lady Bird Johnson oral history, Kennedy Library. xxix “What has been sad”: Ms. magazine, March 1979. xxix “It is the major temple”: JBK to John F. Kennedy, handwritten, undated, 1962. xxix “Egyptian rocks”:

thought he was talking on the phone. I’d been in and out of there all evening. And suddenly, I saw him waving me away—Get out, get out!—I’d already run over to his bed, and it was because Bundy was in the room. And poor Puritan Bundy, to see a woman running in in her nightgown! He threw both hands over his eyes. And he was talking on another phone to someone. Well, then I got out of the room and waited for Jack in my room, and whether he came to bed at two, three, four, I don’t know. And then

he didn’t ask me to go out. I don’t know. At the beginning, he planned a rather short campaign and then made a longer one. On the question of—would he ever talk about the legislative breakfasts?80 Oh, yes, because sometimes they used to be upstairs and, you know, the children would wander in. And sometimes, I’d wander out of my room in my dressing gown and all those men would come out in clouds of smoke. And— The breakfast was on the second floor? Sometimes they’d be, and then later

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