REVIEW: JACKIE: HER TRANSFORMATION FROM FIRST LADY TO JACKIE O., BY PAUL BRANDUS

The world was shocked when Jacqueline Kennedy married Aristotle Onassis in 1968. It would not have been so surprising had the truth of their relationship—which dated back to the 1950s—been known. Jackie knew Ari almost as long as she had known John F. Kennedy—and saw qualities in him (besides money) that she found highly attractive.

The five years between her marriages to JFK and Onassis are often overlooked. But it was an incredible period of growth and change for Jackie. How did the world’s most famous woman remain so enigmatic? What was she really like? This book reveals the real Jackie, the one that hid behind her trademark large sunglasses.

In this book, you’ll learn about:
•Jackie’s lovers—and the one man she regretted not marrying
•The secret, second burial of JFK
•Her evolution from “political wife Jackie” into “nightclubbing, party girl Jackie”
•Her own near death in 1967
•Her influence on pop art, fashion, and design

 

 

an interior journey thoughts

As a fan of Jackie and the Kennedys, I have read several books about the family and about Jackie herself. The period covered in Jackie: Transformation from First Lady to Jackie O revealed a few tidbits I had missed in other books.

The author reveals more about the widow’s grieving, some of which I had not seen before. Her gradual change from the widow to finding her own home and beginning a period of socializing once again offered an interesting journey for fans.

The book ended with her wedding to Aristotle Onassis, without going into the marriage at all. In later books, we learn about how Jackie finally becomes truly independent.
A 4.5 rating.

***

REVIEW: AMERICA’S RELUCTANT PRINCE, BY STEVEN M. GILLON

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

***