America’s Queen

The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

by Sarah Bradford

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The first 20 pages or so were tedious, but it got more interesting after that. I never understood Jackie Kennedy’s situation or how she started out lacking confidence. Originally, when plotting the presidential campaign, the Kennedys thought of  Jacqueline more as a liability than an asset.

Jackie spoke French and Spanish fluently and this endeared her to many minorities in the U.S. as well as to people abroad. She suffered several miscarriages and a stillbirth before she was able to “validate” herself in the Kennedy family by giving birth to Caroline. Just after JFK was elected, she gave birth to John Jr.

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Everyone knows that JFK was a womanizer but I never knew the extent..that it was like a disease with him. .. a daily need to sleep with some new woman! Jacqueline became aware at some point but chose to look the other way. The family convinced her that a divorce would end JFK’s political career. 

Jacqueline is known for bringing taste and culture into the White House, redecorating and restoring original period pieces to the interior, creating a place that millions of people would come to view. Her defining style affected women all over the world. I remember that her hairdo was all the rage along with her Chanel suits and pillbox hats.

Figure of the typical Jackie Kennedy

Figure of the typical Jackie Kennedy

I did become rather tired of her by the end of the book. I appreciate that biographers must strive to tell the truth and realize that many “official” biographers allow the family to censor the unpleasant parts. Bradford gives us a balanced picture of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, though the details sometimes bored me.

If you like to know all about the lives of the rich and famous, you’ll enjoy this book.

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