cover image Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story

Barbara Leaming. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $27.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-250-01764-2

Much has been written about J.F.K.’s first lady, who was generational icon, but Leaming (Churchill Defiant) approaches Jackie’s story from a new perspective, contending that she suffered from PTSD, with all of its recurrent triggers and episodes. The first half of book focuses on Jackie’s early life and marriage; the second half is an examination of Jackie suffering in the wake of her husband’s traumatic assassination. Leaming explains Jackie’s behavior and reactions to specific events through the lens of contemporary knowledge about human reactions to trauma. For instance, her marriage to Aristotle Onassis is explained in terms of what it provided for her for a short time: safety. The possibility that Jackie had PTSD was first suggested in a letter from U.K. Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. Leaming draws the parallels between what Jackie went through and the cases of others who experienced trauma. Well-written and engaging, the book presents readers with yet another facet of a woman who has intrigued and beguiled the public for decades. [em](Nov.) [/em]