Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: A Life

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9780312977078: Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: A Life

She was America's sweetheart; the embodiment of grace, elegance, style, charm, and-as the world discovered in late 1963-bravery. And though much has been written about the most famous woman of the 20th century, no biography has revealed the true Jackie; none has successfully separated the truth from the lies, or portrayed the Queen of Camelot in all her complexity-until now. With access to Jackie's own writings, the archives of the John F. Kennedy Library, and those who knew her best, bestselling celebrity biographer Donald Spoto illuminates Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and the sixty-five years of her life with candor, compassion and compelling detail. Readers will discover:

* The early years: a privileged but lonely childhood that shaped Jackie's resilience and poise, working as a photojournalist for the Washington Times-Herald, and meeting a handsome congressman named Kennedy
* Life as the first lady: dealing with Jack's infidelity, adjusting to life in the spotlight, and her influence on the policies of the Kennedy Administration
* Mrs. Onassis: life after Jack, marrying the Greek tycoon, her accomplished career as a book editor, her final days, and much more

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Review:

Donald Spoto, best known for his Hitchcock bio The Dark Side of Genius, gets past Jackie's dazzling mythic exterior, revealing beneath her white gloves the ominous nicotine stains that led to her early death, gently removing those sunglasses to peek into her soul. Though he, too, must rely on the kindness of anonymous sources, Spoto is relatively skeptical about the dishiest dirt. And because he's an ex-monk and theology professor, he can deal with her religious, intellectual side. She was a superb editor for a third of her life, and Spoto gives her sharp wit its due.

Thus, for Jackie's alleged defloration in a Paris elevator, consult All Too Human, and for her alleged beddings of Brando, Sinatra, Beatty, and Bobby Kennedy, read Jackie After Jack. Spoto paints a more restrained Jackie. Sure, she frolicked in moonlit Mayan pools in 1968 with a married ex-JFK cabinet member, but Spoto says she never slept with Bobby, that JFK's Marilyn Monroe fling was a one-night stand, and that Jackie demanded that he take pity on the suicidal actress. Jack and Jackie were kindred: "Each endured a lonely and difficult childhood with emotionally distant mothers and philandering fathers ... each had cultivated a certain solitude." Jack was cold, amoral, uncultured; Jackie nudged him on civil rights, regaled Niebuhr and Nehru, brought art and mind to the White House: "Underneath a veil of lovely inconsequence, she concealed ... an all-seeing eye and a ruthless judgment." Spoto makes their last months--when, ironically, they found real love for one another--as poignant as the moment she found his skull in her hand.

From the self-doubting kid whose vile mother talked her out of accepting Vogue's Prix de Paris to the self-possessed editor of Dancing on My Grave and A Cartoon History of the Universe, Spoto's Jackie is a plausible character one wishes one could have known. --Tim Appelo

About the Author:

Donald Spoto, who earned his Ph.D. degree from Fordham University, is the author of definitive biographies of, among others, Alfred Hitchcock, Tennessee Williams, Laurence Olivier, Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, and Ingrid Bergman. His previous book was The Hidden Jesus: A New Life. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Donald Spoto
Editore: St. Martin's Paperbacks (2000)
ISBN 10: 0312977077 ISBN 13: 9780312977078
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Spoto, Donald
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Descrizione libro St. Martin's Paperbacks, 2000. Mass Market Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110312977077

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