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JFK & JACKIE: We Hardly Knew Ye

Mrs. Kennedy: The Missing History of the Kennedy Years - Barbara Leaming

Upon immersing myself in "Mrs. Kennedy: The Missing History of the Kennedy Years", I felt as if I were an actual witness to a marriage between 2 remarkable people, whose lives together became bound up with the politics, culture, ethos, and destiny of a nation.

 

At the time of their marriage in September 1953, the husband, a freshman United States Senator with budding promise of reaching the White House, hailed from a rich, prestigious Irish-American family steeped in the Catholic faith. His wife, who came from a slightly less wealthier background, was a graduate from Vassar who had studied at the Sorbonne, possessed artistic and intellectual attainments, and shared certain, profound affinities with her husband, which the author makes plain in considerable detail as the story progresses.

 

I have had a deep-seated fascination with JFK and Jacqueline Kennedy for years, and this book I found hard to break away from once I began reading it in earnest. Even if you have little interest in politics or history, the book's human interest element alone makes for compelling reading. It makes alive to the reader the sensibilities of an era --- the 1950s and early 1960s --- in such a way that one almost feels as if the past has become the present. This is a book that I could read again and again, without tiring of it, despite the horrific tragedy of Dallas and its aftermath in which Jacqueline Kennedy, now a widow, struggled to re-establish a meaningful life for herself and her children.