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Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: A Life

Donald Spoto

961 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1568958951 / ISBN 13: 9781568958958
Published by Wheeler Pub Inc, 2000
Condition: Good Hardcover
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Title: Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: A Life

Publisher: Wheeler Pub Inc

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Good

About this title


Book by Spoto, Donald


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

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