Conversations with Jackie

Released 50 years early in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Kennedy Presidency on permission of daughter Caroline, Conversations on Life With John F. Kenney interviews by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. provide only a bit of insight into the life of Jacqueline and J.F.K. I listened on CD and, aside from the New England accent, Jacqueline Kennedy could have been Marilyn Monroe with her breathy voice and her adoration of J.F.K. I wish I knew my history better, but I couldn’t place most of the people that were asked about and who she discussed and so the subtleties were lost on me. I did, however, take note of the fact that, as Caroline mentioned in the introduction, Jacqueline felt her job was to make her husband happy, to bear and raise his children, and to stay out of politics. She would later change these views and embrace feminism whole-heartedly, but this was 1963 and she was a young woman still so fresh in the shadow of losing the man she loved.

For the conspiracy theorists, there was no mention of Lyndon Johnson master-minding the assassination although it was clear that they did not care for him. In fact, Jacqueline stated quite clearly that Johnson was not selected as V.P. candidate to enhance the ticket, but rather because J.F.K. thought he would be much less dangerous there than as Senate Majority Leader, the position he held prior to the campaign.

For the gossip columnists, there was no mention of Marilyn or any of J.F.K.’s other alleged lovers and also no mention of Jacqueline’s supposed retaliatory affair with William Holden.

Overall Jackie was elegant if sometimes snobbish, and very convinced in her judgments of people and of the positions she stated that J.F.K. held. There were several brief appearances by John, Jr. and Caroline, but as always, they were protected.