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.
his brother to expand his portfolio and become his confidential adviser and troubleshooter on foreign, defense, and intelligence policy—especially toward Cuba and the Soviet Union. 27. President Kennedy asked Taylor to head a committee to conduct a postmortem on the Bay of Pigs failure. Other panel members were Robert Kennedy, Allen Dulles, and Admiral Arleigh Burke. 28. JFK felt responsible for the almost 1,200 invaders captured by Castro. The evidence was his willingness to brave domestic
Life Pictures/Getty Images/John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, Boston Would you speak, or just— I’d just say hello to them all, and talk to them. You know, and tell them who I was, and I’d have someone with me. Who was it? Did I go with Franklin?8 Because he was usually with Jack. Then every night, we’d be at some big rally, where Franklin would talk. But then, you see, in the middle of that campaign, I started to have John. So then I was sort of—rather sent home a bit. I just was there
Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images/John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, Boston I think that Bobby was opposed to Fulbright on the ground that Fulbright, because of his position on segregation, wouldn’t be, you know, hot for Africa. Oh, what do you think? Do you think it’s too bad that Fulbright wasn’t chosen? My personal view is yes. Me too. How did Rusk strike you? The President had not known Rusk before. No. Well, he was very quiet—you know, they were talking. I just sort of
India and Pakistan, because India was really just getting to know Nehru, who did like Lee and I—Lee and me. And never mentioned Pakistan or anything. And then there was Ken Galbraith and B. K. Nehru and Madame Pandit and her sister.19 It was much more like a family group. The meals were pleasant. And when we got to Pakistan—of course, I basically like the Paks more than the Indians. They’re sort of more manly, and Ayub never stopped talking politics or how he hated Nehru or couldn’t stand him.20
couldn’t demoralize the State Department so completely. Then he went over there to give a talk to them once and to tell them—and he really prepared that talk. He said, it’s so awful in the State Department. They get so demoralized. They get sort of trained not to take a position one way or the other, but by the time they get way up—and he said younger people should get up quicker—they just can’t give you any answer but the answer that’s no answer—safe on both sides. And so the whole point of the