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The Kennedy Reading and Watching List

President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kenne...

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Here are some brand new releases about the life of JFK from Amazon.

Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy pre-order now $33.00 (reg $60)

Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero by Chris Matthews

The Kennedys [Blu-ray] The TV series starring Greg Kinnear. He transformed this role and really channeled JFK.  Must see, must have.


“Smash His Camera” Jackie Kennedy by Ron Gallela

Just watched Smash His Camera the words spoken by Jackie re Ron her parasitic papparazzi. Ron says his days of taking pics are over because all the iconic stars are either dead or real old, like Liz Taylor.

This doc traces Ron’s career made up of following famous women, Jackie mostly. If you want to see more photos of Jackie then watch this flic on streaming.

You can also tell from the outline of her body and the way that she stands and walks that my nude Jackie posted under: Is this the Warhol Nude of Jackie? makes pictorial sense.  She is rail thin and nearly flat chested and that body seems to belong only to her.

Anyway he chased her through hill and dale, parks and premieres to catch a snapshot of Jackie O.

Caroline on Jackie

Jackie did interviews in her life that have never been published. So Caroline is going to have them published. Here’s the link

Jackie letter to Ethel Seized by FBI

In 1968 Jackie wrote Ethel a letter of condolence. In it she said that Stases would take little Bobby to Africa or to the moon. It was stolen by someone who worked at Ethel’s Virginia home. It was auctioned more than once and was taken before it could be auctioned in Dallas.

Jackie Kennedy Through Time

Unpublished pics from One of my favorite pics of her included here.

The Death of a President by William Manchester–updated

I have a good memory, a very good memory. While writing the blog about Jackie gracing the cover of Vanity Fair I wrote that I had the book it was based on somewhere around the house. I thought I misspoke.

I went to my many bookcases in the house which is almost a library but did not see the book. I kept searching the other rooms, other bookcases. Still did not find it. Then I pictured it in my mind: hmmm it’s an old paperback that I found either at a garage sale or at Half Price Books for a dollar or so. I saw the book and its condition clearly.

I went to the bottom shelf of a small bookcase in the bedroom and there it was just as I pictured it.  I read end, middle and beginning all in one night. I was vainly searching for the narrative about Jack and Jackie in Fort Worth, TX and their interactions. I could not find that but still could not stop reading. I finally had to just put the book down and go to bed. Believe me it is an oldie but very goody by British author William Manchester.

Just found this link which is the Vanity Fair article here. He was given an exclusive interview by Jackie because Jack had met him and liked his work. The family thought that they did not want any books or accounts written of Jack’s last days because it was too painful. When they realized people were going to fill up the trough with books about Jack’s life, death and looks they decided to go with Manchester as family friend.

As a biographer, he chose as subjects the Rockefellers, the Krupp arms-making family, Douglas MacArthur and Churchill. His three works on John F. Kennedy — whom the author met while both were recovering from war injuries — brought him critical renown, financial security and best-seller status.A frequent guest of the Kennedy family at Hyannis Port, Mass., Mr. Manchester won access to the president and his top advisers and used his insider status to chronicle the Camelot years and beyond. Some viewed him as too close to the family, writing adoringly of the president in his books “Portrait of a President: John F. Kennedy in Profile” (1962) and “One Brief Shining Moment” (1983).


Bill told too much and this was the crux of Jackie’s angst. She called the book fascinating. He had to disavow that he got permission from her or Bobby to write all that he did write. And write he does. There are no writers or dramatists like the British (I know he was American born, but writes like the best Brit I’ve ever read and he’s Anglo-Saxon). That is their niche and forte. The Warren Report was 888 pages. Ironically my first Internet name was netemara888. Death is nearly a thousand pages in the paperback form.

It may have been longer in hardback. You can’t put the book down. I am surprised that there have been no movies based on this book. It is stunning. Jackie called it fascinating I call it stunning. The language, the word choice, the narratives of their journey defy description. You have to read it. You won’t be able to put it down. What William DID write is the source of Jackie’s bitter battle and the focus of the Vanity Fair article–see above link — set to come out in Sept for October issue.

Manchester, the master, begins the book by stalking the reader with a myth. The myth that the gods demand a sacrifice for the coming year. The people oblige by slaying their favorite son. Blood must be shed and so it was.

Update: This post is not exactly a review of the book. I have since found my book and read much of it. I’ve had to step back and try to read it objectively. That’s hard because the subject is so close.

In case anyone is interested in buying a copy: I have perused Amazon and other sites to see the going rate for this book. At Amazon it ranges from 75 – 200 dollars even for the paperback.

But I found it cheaper if you just Google the title by itself, you will find sellers. The writing and the story of this book are superb. My aunt who is ten years older recalls the advent of the book. She said that Bill Manchester was highly regarded as an author and bowed down to when the book reached the public. It was a big deal. I am sure he suffered as all writers do to write and complete this oeuvre.

Here is an offering from page 605 of my copy. The setting is the WH after Dallas. Jackie and Bobby refused to leave Dallas without JFK’s remains. The coffin, so they thought, had been badly damaged and Bobby asked for a new one to be purchased in Dallas. One was bought and it was expensive but plain. Buying a casket, viewing and open casket were subjects that had to be broached. Jackie did not want to give in.

“I want the coffin closed so badly. You can’t have it open.”

He disagreed. “It can’t be done Jackie. Everybody wants to se a Head of State.”

“I don’t care. It’s the most awful, morbid thing; they have to remember Jack alive.”

The Attorney General came back, and the three of them perched where they would go — he on top of the refrigerator, McNamara on the sink, Jackie on the floor. She said again that she couldn’t stand the idea of what undertakers called ‘viewing the remains.’ Bob Kennedy like Bob McNamara, said that this was an exceptional  situation…eventually she lapsed into silence–as she put it, ‘I just sort of accepted that with such misery.’ She didn’t really accept it. It was clear that she felt something precious to her was at stake. Womanlike, she was waiting.

His valet dressed him one final time and makeup was applied by the dreaded undertaker. The shirt had JFK embroidered on the cuffs. However, he did not like the show and would always tuck the matching handkerchief so that the initials did not show. His valet did same for the last time.

Jackie Graces the Oct 2009 Cover of Vanity Fair

Jackie O is fetching in yellow. She is also hoping to sell mags for Vanity Fair. The sale of magazines is sagging but the interest in Jackie hardly seems to be lagging.

ET reports tonight that the reason for the cover story was based on the bitter battle Jackie had with Manchester who wrote “Death of A President” in 1964 or so. I probably have that book around here somewhere. The deal is that the book went too far. It detailed more than Jackie thought was okay. It was published in 1967 and Jackie found it fascinating.

Say It Ain’t So Jackie

Don’t bother looking for the photo of the probably flat-chested Jackie with the shapely legs. It’s not online it’s amidst Warhol’s collection of junk in boxes. Maybe it is online. I copy and put it into the following post asking that question. It may have copyright but it is fair use. I critiqued the possibility of its realness and credited the site. Warhol, was A veritable pack rat he has a pic of Jackie nude from somewhere to someone sent to Andy as some kind of a joke. Who’s laughing. I don’t think that’s very funny Jackie.

Michael’s Moonwalk returns to print

Word is that Moonwalk will be reprinted. I have a first edition copy. It was edited by Jackie Kennedy by MJ’s request. Did you know that? Also, the first editions are selling for a good penny on ebay. I often wanted to get rid of my copy because I did not think it was very good. But I realized way back when that MJ would not live to see old age, so I hung on to my first edition copy.