Holy shmoly, if you want political gossip, is this the audio book for you!
In the months following JFK’s death, Jackie Kennedy sat down with Arthur Schlessinger Jr (and was it my imagination, or was the man no good with kids…I swear he yelled “Out!” at John-John at one point during the interviews) and dished on all the people she came in contact with during her marriage to JFK.
At one point, she even bashed Rose Kennedy, stating that Joseph Kennedy deserves all the credit for how curious and intelligent the kids all turned out to be, as Mrs. Kennedy was only interested in place-mats.
She goes on to talk about the Eisenhower’s (there was no love lost between her and Mamie) and the Johnson’s (evidently Lady Bird was quite the note-taker and Lyndon would never be half the president that Jack was) and the Nixon’s and Adlai Stevenson and all sorts of other people whose names I didn’t recognize. But one thing was clear. Jack was the bee’s knees. He was smart and well-read and charming and nice and all that was good and shining in the world.
Seriously. The man was practically a saint in her eyes. And no one would ever live up to his promise. She’s very clear about that.
She also talked a lot about life in the White House and and her project to restore it, as well as her trips abroad and the Cuban Missile Crisis and all sorts of other things. There’s quite a bit packed into the 8 hours of interviews.
And while she comes across as a bit of a ditz at times with that breathy voice and her “Oh, I don’t know, what do you think” responses and her “men are so much better at politics” stance, she also can’t quite hide her own intelligence. As the interviews continue she gets more comfortable and natural, while still maintaining that fierce allegiance to Jack and all that he stood for.
So while her opinions are incredibly biased, they are still awfully interesting to listen to. Just make sure you crank up the volume, since the audio is fairly sketchy in parts.