The Eloquent Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: A Portrait in Her Own Words [With DVD]

Bill Adler, Jr., Author William Morrow & Company $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-073282-0
Eloquent is a strong word to apply to this collection of musings and quotes. Adler, editor of the bestselling The Kennedy Wit: The Humor and Wisdom of John F. Kennedy, has vacuumed up excerpts from Onassis's letters, speeches and interviews along with recollected verbal asides to friends, heads of state and hairdressers, and has even included a portion of her will. The results are uninspiring. Onassis reflects on politics (""We should all do something to right the wrongs that we see and not just complain about them""), the arts (""Poets are the ones who change the world""), motherhood (""The things you do with your children you never forget"") and the White House (""It's like a hotel. Everywhere I look there is somebody standing around or walking down a hall""). Unsurprisingly, many of the snippets herein concern John F. Kennedy: she notes that""Jack was something special, and I know he saw something special in me too"";""My life revolves around my husband"";""I never told him anything or showed him anything unpleasant""; and""I would certainly not express any view that was not my husband's."" To her mother, she reportedly said that JFK""didn't even have the satisfaction of being killed for civil rights. It had to be some silly little communist."" Other bon mots include""The first time you marry for love, the second for money, and the third for companionship"" and""I do love to live in style."" The portrait that emerges is not a flattering one. But that may be a fault of the volume rather than its subject. Who among us would like to be remembered through a smattering of interview snippets and off-the-cuff remarks? Photos. One-hour DVD insert from A&E Biography not seen by PW.
Reviewed on: 04/01/2004
Release date: 04/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
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