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Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy | [Caroline Kennedy (foreword), Michael Beschloss (introduction)]

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

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2011 Caroline Kennedy, John Schlossberg, Rose Schlossberg, and Tatiana Schlossberg (P)2011 Hyperion (packaging elements only)

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  •  
    Fledglin' Georgia. 05-24-12
    Fledglin' Georgia. 05-24-12 Member Since 2010

    Joe.

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    "Historic"
    What disappointed you about Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy?

    Where was her story? Who was she?


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy?

    That he was a serious drug addict


    Would you be willing to try another one of the narrators’s performances?

    No


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy?

    All of it


    Any additional comments?

    Pick a side. Be a public person or be a private citizen. Free country. Her story seemed more about other people and very judgmental, I might add. It made me dislike a revered adored first lady. I suppose I am to young to see her as more than a victim in a blood stained pink suit and I guess I wanted to hear more than her ridiculing people. She seemed to think the people who idolized her were simple housewives who had nothing better to do but imitate a rich, regal woman who definitely comes across as condescending and snooty.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah United States 05-22-12
    Deborah United States 05-22-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Boring, did not meet expectations"
    What would have made Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy better?

    It just was not as interesting as I antcipated. Could not finish listening to the entire book. It was too much of an inside conversation for me to follow.


    What could Caroline Kennedy (foreword) and Michael Beschloss (introduction) have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Book is probably valuable for historians, but not the lay reader like myself.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    No narrator. Interview format. I enjoyed hearing Jackie's voice, but I did not have enough knowledge to understand a lot of what Jackie and the interviewer were discussing.


    What character would you cut from Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy?

    NA


    Any additional comments?

    Not a good listen.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KP Oakland, CA 02-08-12
    KP Oakland, CA 02-08-12 Member Since 2006

    There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – Emily Dickinson

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    "A Mixed BAg"

    Basically, listening to this was 2/3 very boring and about 1/3 interesting facts about the inside life and feelings of the Kennedys. I had to force myself to keep listening, as the rewards were intermittent. I thought it would be good to listen to it on the heels of the Stephen King book, 11-22-63, and I suppose that did add to the feelings I had about the book. But, for one thing, the quality of the audio from back in that time period was really bad. SO, it was not nearly as easy to listen to as any other audio book I???ve ever listened to. It was a strain through the whole thing. Sometimes you could hear airplanes flying overhead which nearly drowned out the conversations! Sometimes I couldn???t quite hear the name of the person being discussed, and I didn???t feel like working too hard to go back and figure it out, since it seemed sort of boring in today???s context. Now I see there is a PDF file, which I???ve downloaded and looked at, with ALL the names of people mentioned in the book. That does help. AND the photos in the PDF file are fantastic!!

    The best part about the book was hearing Jackie???s inside take on whom she and Jack liked and disliked and some of the interesting, inside info from their White House years. For example, when Sukarno, president of Indonesia, was visiting, he showed them a huge books of photos, and it turned out to have lots of semi-naked women whom he would explain were his succession of various wives! Jackie said she and Jack glanced at each other and could hardly keep from laughing out loud. I just looked Sukarno up in the ???Notes,??? and it says he was widely known for his lust and corruption!

    I guess one thing I missed in this book was a little more about Jackie???s life. The focus was mainly on the President, and I just thought the whole tone was a bit removed and not emotional enough??? or something like that. In the PDF notes I found this info, which I find so sad and touching about Jackie, and it humanizes her a bit more, I think.

    [ Mrs. Kennedy did not know (Prime Minister Harold) Macmillan remotely as well as the President had, but after Kennedy???s death, she achieved a moving kind of intimacy with her husband???s British friend by letter. At the end of January 1964, at midnight, she wrote Macmillan by hand in response to his condolence letter:
    ???Sometimes I become so bitter, only alone???I don???t tell anyone???but I do truly think that any poor school child looking at the record of the 1960s???could only decide that virtue is UNrewarded. The two greatest men of our time, you and Jack???all you fought for and cared about together. . . . And how does it all turn out? De Gaulle is there . . . and bitter old Adenauer???and the two people who have had to suffer are you and Jack. . . . You worked together for the finest things in the finest years???later on when a series of disastrous Presidents of the United States, and Prime Ministers who were not like you, will have botched up everything???people will say ???Do you remember those days???how perfect they were???? The days of you and Jack. . . . I always keep thinking of Camelot???which is overly sentimental???but I know I am right???for one brief shining moment there was Camelot???and it will never be that way again. . . . Please forgive this endless intrusion???but I just wanted to tell you how much Jack loved you???and I have not his gift of concision.???

    Macmillan replied, ???My dear Friend???this is how I used to write to Jack???so I am going to write to you. You have written from your heart to me, and I will do the same??? Of course one becomes bitter. How could you not be? . . . May God Bless you, my dear child. You have shown the most wonderful courage to the bitter outer world. The hard thing is really to feel it inside.??? On June 1, 1964, the day before this oral history interview, Jacqueline reported to Macmillan that she was feeling better now and the worst had passed. Later she wrote him that she was trying to raise her children as Jack would have wished???and that if she prevailed, then that would be her vengeance against the world. (This was one reason why, in later years, Jacqueline was particularly cheered when told by friends that she had succeeded as a mother.) ]

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan MILLVILLE, DE, United States 01-17-12
    Susan MILLVILLE, DE, United States 01-17-12 Member Since 2011

    Susan

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    "Hmmmmmm......wasn't that impressed"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I know things were different in the 60's....but have a hard time relating to Jackie... thought she was more of an independent woman ...


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy?

    loved the information of President Kennedy's reactions to different historic figures... glad he didn't like De Gaulle ... sad that when he finally met Winston Churchill and it was too late to hold a conservation because of his age.... loved the Truman stories....was really interested in Khrushchev and Missile Crisis...


    How could the performance have been better?

    I hate to say this... but she was always being


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    maybe


    Any additional comments?

    Loved the forward with Caroline...

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kris Garden Grove, CA, United States 12-16-12
    kris Garden Grove, CA, United States 12-16-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Struggling to get thru it"
    What would have made Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy better?

    Filtering out the background noise. it is too distracting.


    Has Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, I'll give others a chance, but I doubt I'll be finishing this. I've tried several times to get through it and I just can't.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of the narrators?

    This doesn't apply because the novelty of this book is it is actual tapes of conversations. I was a child when Jackie Kennedy was in the white house, so I didn't pay much attention to her voice or her cadence. Listening to this, ugh! Just not my "cup of tea".


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy?

    Hard to say, being it is actual tapes of her conversation, but I felt like the whole thing was so disjointed. And the gentleman seemed to have more to say than Jackie. Also, there were so many times I tried to replay what she said because I can hardly hear or understand her, but it is so hard to rewind and find the right spot, that I'd give up.


    Any additional comments?

    I have a lot of respect and admiration for Caroline Kennedy. I was really hoping to be moved by this book. Unfortunately I feel I got nothing out of it except annoyed.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Fresno, CA, United States 12-12-12
    Kathleen Fresno, CA, United States 12-12-12 Member Since 2008

    kathque

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    "Disappointing."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I understand that Jacqueline Kennedy was fairly young and newly widowed when these tapes were made but, really, how snarky and nasty can even a 1950s high society wife be? This has significantly changed my opinion of Jacqueline Kennedy and not for the good. The historical background information and perspective, while clearly warped, is the only reason I continued after the first hour of the listening to her snarky, back-biting and mean-spirited comments about at least half of the people and situations.


    Was Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy worth the listening time?

    Maybe.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm not sure whether or not Caroline Kennedy should be commended for allowing her mother's words been heard without editing, nasty comments and all. I'm not sure I would have wanted her memory sullied by her own words. It's sad.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tanisha Meriden, CT, United States 01-18-12
    Tanisha Meriden, CT, United States 01-18-12 Member Since 2011

    a lover of books and finer things

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    "Boring, boring and extremely boring"

    Unless you are intimately aware of the players inside and outside of the Kennedy's circle when the President was killed your going to be asking "Who?". Jackie didn't seem to know too much about the political goings on at the time and couldn't answer many of the questions posed to her. Other than to say that she wasn't apart of the situation, she was busy being pregnant or with the kids. So what is the point of asking her about the President if she didn't know anything. Truthfully, there doesn't seem to be much reason to keep these tapes underwraps for 50 years because she didn't say much of anything. I deleted the book before it finished.

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Kenner, LA, United States 02-18-12
    Michael Kenner, LA, United States 02-18-12
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    "Outdated"

    It appeared to me that Ms. Kennedy really knew very little about politics or the work her husband was doing. She often had to ask the interviewer what had happened because she did not know. Since she knew so little about what was going on, I felt that the information that she spoke of contributed little to what we should know about those events and that period. It was nice to hear her voice, though. I just found the book boring after about an hour.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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