Tuesday, March 27, 2012

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

So i finally got an audible account and this was the first book I downloaded. I felt it necessary to hear Jackie in her own voice and own words. For someone who did not live through this era, this was very interesting and somewhat boring.

I'll get the boring out of the way, and it's not much but still.... Arthur Schlesinger, Jr and Jackie talked about JFK and his legacy. There was considerable talk about certain members who were either in government or the press or just around the president. I will admit that my history knowledge is not nearly good enough to know who all of these people were. So therefore, I got a little bored. That was it. No more boring.

Hearing Jackie speaking was awesome until the times you realized what she just said (Did she really say THAT?). You could tell she was doing her best to preserve JFK's legacy, perhaps even build it up, but she was also very candid. While I'm sure JFK had flaws, although no one seems to admit it, you will not know it from these tapes. I understand what they were trying to accomplish with the tapes but I think they seem a bit....I don't know. It's tough to put my finger on.

Jackie had very candid opinions about everyone, including MLK, Jr. (Who knew he liked orgies??) and she has been blasted in the news since this book came about about being so candid. On that note, I need to say: everyone has opinions. At this point, she was removing herself from the public eye and why shouldn't she be allowed to speak her mind? Especially since these tapes were not to be released til after her death. I don't fault her for this at all. In her mind at the time, it seems she did not consider herself valuable to the public and was working on helping JFK's legacy, not her own.

This is well worth the listen, I think, if only to hear a little piece of history. I'm sure folks who lived through this time will appreciate it even more. And for the record, thank goodness Jackie's opinions on "a woman's place" changed as she got older. I cringed at some of the antiquated ideas of how a woman should be/act/live.
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