A major new biography of John F. Kennedy Jr. from a leading historian who was also a close friend, America’s Reluctant Prince is a deeply researched, personal, surprising, and revealing portrait of the Kennedy heir the world lost too soon.

Through the lens of their decades-long friendship and including exclusive interviews and details from previously classified documents, noted historian and New York Times bestselling author Steven M. Gillon examines John F. Kennedy Jr.’s life and legacy from before his birth to the day he died. Gillon covers the highs, the lows, and the surprising incidents, viewpoints, and relationships that John never discussed publicly, revealing the full story behind JFK Jr.’s complicated and rich life. In the end, Gillon proves that John’s life was far more than another tragedy—rather, it’s the true key to understanding both the Kennedy legacy and how America’s first family continues to shape the world we live in today.


When I think of the Kennedys, I am caught up in the myth of Camelot, but also struck by the numerous tragedies of their lives.

John, Jr., was a bright legacy of that family, but after his father’s assassination, followed by his uncle Robert’s murder, he had a stronger desire to find his own place in the world: his privacy, and his chance to carve out a different future than the political one. His magazine George did veer in the direction of politics, but with a difference. The fact that the magazine eventually closed down after his death did not change the fact that he was daring to be unique in his goals.

Sadly, a life cut short is always a tragedy, but with John’s death, the rest of us also feel the loss of a dream and a mythological legacy that was due us. The author does list the various accomplishments John had brought to the world, allowing a sense of some completion.

A book that offered up many details of a life and a legacy, America’s Reluctant Prince kept me engaged throughout. There was a lot of detail that bogged me down at times, but the book earned 4.5 stars.#2020ReadNonFic



    • Thanks, Shelleyrae, I do enjoy the books on the Kennedys. The nonfiction book I’m reading now is about Wallis Simpson: Wallis in Love, by Andrew Morton.

      Nonfiction books move along slowly, don’t they? I read them in bits and pieces while also devouring other books.

      Thanks for the challenge!

      Liked by 1 person

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