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eBook America's Queen: The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis download

by Sarah Bradford

eBook America's Queen: The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis download ISBN: 0140264108
Author: Sarah Bradford
Publisher: Penguin Books, Limited (UK); New Ed edition (September 27, 2001)
Language: English
Pages: 704
ePub: 1319 kb
Fb2: 1609 kb
Rating: 4.7
Other formats: lrf txt lit lrf
Category: Biography
Subcategory: Leaders and Notable People

Sarah Bradford's America's Queen is the definitive biography of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis - a fascinating account of an extraordinary life. Jackie Bouvier's privileged upbringing instilled rigid self-control, while her expedient marriage into the Kennedy clan consolidated her determination. Revealing new testimony from many of the couple's closest friends show the profound complexities both of this very public relationship, including the affairs that threatened it, and of her controversial marriage to Onassis. Here is the private Jackie - neglected wife, vigilant mother, obsessive shopper and working widow - whose fascinating nature is illuminated by all that Bradford has discovered. 'Exceptionally intelligent and well-written ... a thumping good read' Mail on Sunday Sarah Bradford is an historian and biographer. Previous books include biographies of Disraeli (winner of the New York Times Book of the Year), Princess Grace, Diana, Princess of Wales and most recently Queen Elizabeth II. She lives in London SW6.
Comments: (7)
Sarah Bradford is an impeccable biographer who always turns out a riveting, well-researched, incredibly informative book so the fact that "America's Queen" is just that came as no surprise. What DID surprise me was the many people Bradford managed to access and interview as well as how much I didn't know (I've been fascinated by Jackie my entire life and have read nearly everything ever published, filmed or spoken by the former First Lady) going in. The depictions of Jackie from infancy to icon are beautifully written, supported by the observations and encounters of those who knew her well. Bradford also manages to find interesting descriptions of Jackie in interviews with some who barely knew her, like the individual who said that, and I'm paraphrasing, after the assassination Jackie's skin on her face looked like it was covered with fine lines similar to a beautiful piece of old china which had been broken then glued back together. Or the day Jackie arrived quietly at the JFK Presidential Library and overheard Pierre Salinger, her husband's former Press Secretary, laughingly discuss "all the women" JFK had had at the White House. A friend happened upon her and found Jackie having to steady herself by leaning against a wall. She looked exhausted and devastated and repeated "When will it all end?" over and over in a small, sad voice.

Yes, I could go on and on....but I won't. Suffice to say, I enjoyed this book very, very much and highly recommend it to those who are interested in Jackie's life.
This biography is the best book ever written about Jackie, filled with numerous revealing insights about the most admired American icon of the last millenium. It is not, however, the finest ever written of the Kennedy dynasty. That distinction belongs to Sally Bedell Smith's Grace and Power, published in 2004, a full decade after Jackie's premature death. Still, no Jackiephile will be disappointed with the fascinating revelations in this highly praised tome, a fitting tribute to the most beloved First Lady in history, and an equally polished rebuke to the tacky paste-up job put up by the notorious tabloid journalist Kitty Kelley in 1978.
After having read Sarah Bradford's books on Diana, Princess of Wales, and Queen Elizabeth II, I was interested to read how the author would handle the topic of Jackie.
Although, Ms. Bradford is not the only author who has played up Diana's "faults", I was a little disappointed to find that while Jackie shared many of Diana's dirty little personality traits -- compartmentalizing people, freezing people out over assumed betrayals, scheming for favorable photo sessions, encouraging good press coverage, etc., the author opted to pass over Jackie's such actions. Diana's faults were bad while Jackie's identical behavior was presented as acceptable. In other words nothing can topple Jackie from her icon status but Diana can topple. The only difference is that Jackie's husband and in-laws were not in a public-relations war and encouraging bad press.
Apart from this obvious bias, the author does a good job of conveying the story of Jackie's life. One complaint: I would have liked more details about the food served during the White House years. Jackie preferred French cooking but most of the time we only read that the food the WH guests dined on was delicious.
Overall, I found this book to be enjoyable reading.
A solid biography of a complex woman, Jackie Onassis. Bradford does her usual stellar job of peeking behind the curtain of mystery and into the lives of the rich and famous. This book makes a fine companion to her biographies of Princess Grace and Queen Elizabeth II. Bradford takes us from Jackie's earliest years as the adored eldest child of a wayward father, John Vernou "Black Jack" Bouvier; to the White House as the politically advantageous mate to an unfaithful John F. Kennedy; to Greece as the trophy wife of Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis; and finally to the freedom and excitement of New York during Jackie's later years in the 70s and 80s.
We get to see behind the Kennedy mythology-Jack was as wayward as her father, and in retaliation, Jackie spent his money. Nanny Maud Shaw was pointedly left out of the many photo-exclusives the Kennedys gave to Life magazine, even though she was the main parental figure for Caroline and John, Jr. Coexisting in the First Lady was a woman who wore glamorous gowns and wowed dignitaries with her conversational skills and self-possessed manner, and a woman who smoked incessantly, hated campaigning, bit her fingernails to the quick, and was deeply wounded by her husband's infidelities.
Bradford's interviews are far-ranging: From Gloria Steinem to Jackie's younger sister Lee Radziwill, many of Jackie's acquaintances in Greece, Gore Vidal, her cousin John Davis, and some of her former flames, the people quoted in this book give us a glimpse of a privileged and often painful life. It is frankly stated that Jackie's repeated miscarriages and stillbirths were undoubtedly due contracting chlamydia from JFK. For years after the assassination of her husband, in odd moments Jackie would confide the hideous shock of holding parts of her husband's head in her hands. She had an embattled relationship with her mother, Janet Lee, and later with her sister, who was frustratingly left in the shadow of her sister's radiant beam. Many of the society wives who moved in Jackie's circle reported how possessive and flirtatious she was with their husbands. Far from being in love with Onassis (who had been having an affair with her sister), Jackie married him primarily for the security his vast fortune could afford her. Jackie was far more interested in championing the arts (her helping to start the foundation to restore the White House, her involvement in the campaign to save Grand Central Station), than in humanitarian and charitable causes, Bradford asserts.
This book could well have been subtitled "Iron Butterfly," as Jackie repeatedly gets what she wants (money, donations of antiquities to the White House, clothing) by being manipulative and irresistible at the same time. Yet despite not being the idealized version of herself we've all recognized over the years, Jackie is a fully-realized person in this book. I felt I knew more about her and her motivations after reading it, and not necessarily liking her any less for her flaws of character. The woman who stated her ambition in her Farmington yearbook as "Never to be a housewife" certainly exceeded that goal.
A good addition to your library-my only quibble would be for more attention to detail in the editing and more pictures we haven't already seen. Objective Jackie fans will not be disappointed in what, in the end, is a well-rounded portrait of an unforgettable woman.