In 1964, Jacqueline Kennedy recorded seven historic interviews about her life with John F. Kennedy. Now, decades later, these conversations can be heard in this digitally remastered eight-and-a-half-hour audio program. This audiobook includes the foreword written and read by Caroline Kennedy; introduction written and read by historian Michael Beschloss and the photos from the hardcover book, as well as complete annotations from Michael Beschloss, both in downloadable PDF format.
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 completion, in accordance with Mrs. Kennedy’s wishes.
The resulting eight-and-a-half hours of material comprise 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.
As told by Mrs. Kennedy, 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 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s inauguration, Caroline Kennedy and the Kennedy family are now releasing these beautifully restored recordings with accompanying annotations and photos from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library as well as other sources. 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.
©2011 Caroline Kennedy, John Schlossberg, Rose Schlossberg, and Tatiana Schlossberg (P)2011 Hyperion (packaging elements only)
I like memoirs. These particular interviews by Schlesinger were very timely, and I was happy to hear Jackie's voice express her understanding of what happened in the White House. Juxtaposed with what we now know about Jack's philandering, it was interesting to hear her criticize other roving fellas.It was a true time-capsule view of our culture and societal norms of the sixties. Obviously a "sharp" woman, Jackie never thought of stepping out of line, it seems. The problem with the book? I wanted her to answer the question of why in the world she married such a (seemingly) sleasy guy like Aristotle Onasis. Just kidding...please don't write to tell me I'm nuts...!
I don't think there is another book to compare. Many people write memoirs long after-the-fact; I don't know of any spoken narrative with such immediacy to such a wrenching crime as the murder of one's spouse.
It is too bad that it was recorded on equipment available, but the sound quality was necessarily below what we are today accustomed to hear.
“I discovered books and read forever,” - John Adams
The audio recording of these interviews gave such a glimpse into Mrs. Kennedy's life at the time. The tape recorder stops and starts, kids come into the room, planes fly over, Mrs. Kennedy sips her drink. It makes it so much richer to hear little pieces of the world around her as she recounts her life with the President and her time in the White House.
Her quiet voice recounts such a different side of the important people we read about in history books. In this recording we get snippets of people's personalities, gossips about state dinners and ex-first ladies, and views on marriage, family and women from such a classy lady. It was interesting to hear her daughter in the intro talk about how her views changed over time, but I enjoyed hearing the candid and contemporary 60s views Mrs. Kennedy had at the time.
So thankful that Jackie chose to record her thoughts on the presidency. Her commitment to the preservation of history is very clear, even amidst her grief at the time. Really fascinating insights on history and her personality. Although, I could listen to her read the phone book.
How she stated that she hated the French! So candid.
Yes, during the time that this was happening so much was secret. She kept quiet for good reason but it was hard to understand the emotions or lack thereof. The story showed what women still hadn't attained during the 60"s. Making sure your man was taken care of and not asking any questions was standard then.
The woman herself.
I liked hearing her speak but sometimes it was hard to hear her. The kids in the background playing was such a natural event.
Is an excellent work. The clarity and fidelity are not the best, but we have to considered the time and technology of the day. It is fascinating to hear how they thought, how they feel and their first hand experience with the relevant people that shaped our world.
This is a must for people of all ages interested in politics, physiology, sociology, filosophy, and all other human arts. Thanks to Caroline Kennedy for sharing this with us
The Kennedy's have always interested me so I was. naturally, very keen to listen to this historic recording. Whilst I found it fascinating to listen to Jacqueline Kennedy's stories of her encounters with world famous figures I became. for some reason. rather irritated with her constant burnishing of her husband's image. This struck me as being a bit too much spin from time to time on the part of a dutiful wife. Of course one recognizes that the role of women in society has changed beyond recognition since the 1960's and her narrative probably reflects the general outlook of her day. However, I agree wholeheartedly with Caroline Kennedy's foreword that it would have been great to know more about her own political opinions as opposed to the opinions of JFK. That said, I found this to be a great audio recording and well worth the listen. On a number of occasions the children's voices are caught on tape and listening to the childish voice of John Jr is very sad and poignant.
You feel like you are sitting down to bridge with Jackie and listening to her gab. A little gossip, a few criticisms, and a lot of entertaining anecdotes. She comments on the global as the person - it is the view of the White House from the parlor. She speaks with quite intimately, and it's great to get a peek at Jackie O as just a lady who loved and missed her husband, and had a good deal to say about their friends, his co-workers, and their lives. Events that touched the world are discussed as any housewife might comments on her husband's business dealings.
I wouldve rather it be more about her personal life then about all the politicians around her and John
You cant change history but again I would love to know more about Jackie then John
Yes and I think they already made a movie with katie Holmes
Provides an almost real feel including background noises that makes it seem like you are in the room
the sense of being there particularly with the pauses, ice tinkling in glasses, matches striking
Come listen to history
Yes, the content was very interesting, and remarkable given that this women just 4 months before, sat beside her husband who was shot and killed right in front of her.
So, if you consider the symptoms of PTSD, feeling unattached, forgetting importance parts of the events, trouble concentrating, etc, I would say she was a remarkable woman.
But ,no one seems to mention that it seemed like a I heard the same stories over and over.
The end just fizzled out to something completely inaudible. It builds and builds and you wait for some memorable final statement, but just hear static, people talking way off and Jacqueline telling the same story she told in part one. It did not make sense. So, I'm hoping it was just a weird garbled download. Still about 1/3 of it was very interesting.
JacquelineArthur S was a very good interviewer
not sure, not if it was as disorganized as these recordings were
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