Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy
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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.
then remember it and come back and pick up a thread? Anything he wanted to remember, he could always remember. You’d see things he’d use in his speeches. You’d be sitting next to him on some platform, and suddenly out would come a sentence that two weeks ago in Georgetown he would have read out loud to you one night, just because it interested him. He had the most fantastic and maddening memory for quotes, because—while he remembered the quotes, but he couldn’t always remember where they
Thanksgiving—he was back and forth all the time—and then Thanksgiving he came back. We drove all down to the country that day around Middleburg1 to look for a house to rent and then he went back that evening and I had John late that night. What was the date of John? It was November 25—it was Thanksgiving Day. So then he came back that night—just turned around his plane—and then he stayed at our house in Georgetown all the time, sort of forming his cabinet and everything and marching over to
before he went over to the office—come into my room—I mean, I’d only be half asleep or else I’d be having breakfast—and see me. And he used to take Caroline over to the office with him every day— PRESIDENT KENNEDY PLAYING WITH CAROLINE AND JOHN ON HIS WAY TO THE OVAL OFFICE Cecil Stoughton, White House/John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, Boston That would be about 9:30. Yeah. Quarter of eight—yeah, maybe a little earlier, I suppose. He’d be, I guess, over an hour having breakfast,
upset—when you came out for him, then a day or so later Marian came out for Adlai Stevenson—and he couldn’t understand why because he’d—I think he’d just been down to lunch the day or so before, or a week before, and had a very nice time. You know, and he liked Marian and everything.18 Well, I said, “That’s because Arthur’s so mean to her, [Schlesinger laughs] and Adlai was so nice.” “I saw them together later, you know.” I said, “That’s different, that’s her own personal problem, you know.
and that he was a little bit— I thought he was sick. Sick, yeah.73 Scranton? Well, I don’t remember talking with him about Scranton.74 You know, he was sort of coming up, and I suppose he thought he might have had it. But I never can remember talking to him— Did he look forward to the ’64 campaign? Oh, yes. And I looked forward to it so much. It was one you could do together. Campaigning’s so different when you’re President. It wouldn’t be those awful things of plodding through