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Mrs. Kennedy: The Missing History of the Kennedy Years

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  609 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
New York Times bestselling author Barbara Leaming answers the question: What was it like to be Mrs. John F. Kennedy during the dramatic thousand days of the Kennedy presidency? Here for the first time is the full story of the extravagant interplay of sex and politics that constitutes one of modern history's most spectacular dramas.

Drawing from recently declassified top-sec
Paperback, 416 pages
Published October 2nd 2002 by Free Press (first published January 1st 2001)
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(showing 1-30)
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Upon immersing myself in "Mrs. Kennedy: The Missing History of the Kennedy Years", I felt as if I were an actual witness to a marriage between 2 remarkable people, whose lives together became bound up with the politics, culture, ethos, and destiny of a nation.

At the time of their marriage in September 1953, the husband, a freshman United States Senator with budding promise of reaching the White House, hailed from a rich, prestigious Irish-American family steeped in the Catholic faith. His wife,
Jen Six
Oct 07, 2008 Jen Six rated it it was amazing
One of my first in a long line of biographies I've read on Jackie. This one was written in a way that I truly felt as if I were shadowing her through her life and saw what it must have been like to be her. I knew very little of Jackie before reading this book and afterwards was only more intrigued. I enjoyed learning that Jackie did seem to play a large part in her husband's ideals. To an extent, he learned a great deal from her and respected her, though he wasn't faithful. Go figure.
Either way,
Elizabeth Olsen
After reading a Doris Kearns Goodwin Kennedy book, this one seemed like reading a gossip magazine. The author of this book jumps as conclusions and calls them facts, for example she said JFK chose Jackie because she reminded him of Kit, Katherine Kennedy, his sister who passed away. She attempted to prove this point through vague similiarities between the two women, when they weren't that similiar at all. That is one example of why Miss Leaming just wasn't a trustworthy storyteller. I did like i ...more
May 31, 2011 Julia rated it liked it
Not exactly groundbreaking stuff, but a biography thoroughly informed by very personal memories of Jackie from those who knew and loved her best. She was a physically and emotionally fragile woman who was very good at doing what the country needed her to do. She made the choices that seemed right at the time. The book's concise and unvarnished epilogue was something of a revelation to me, as was an assertion early in the book that explained the relationship between Jack and Jackie more than any ...more
Apr 13, 2010 Catherine rated it really liked it
I got this book to learn more about Jackie and her feelings about her husband cheating on her with numerous women. In the beginning, the book was depressing because I didn't know how bad the cheating really was. It made me think about my relationships in the past. Later in the book, the focus is no longer on Jackie but her husband.

There was much more on President Kennedy, his infidelities, and too much on the problems that arose during his presidency. This book is titled Mrs. Kennedy, but there
Katie Reynolds
Sep 20, 2011 Katie Reynolds rated it it was amazing
Generally, I'm not a person who reads a lot of biographies or autobiographies but interested in Mrs. Kennedy's life after watching the HBO mini series The Kennedys I decided to pick up this book. I was not at all disappointed. This book reads like a novel! Lots of drama spelled out well without a lot of unnecessary details of events that did not hold much meaning. I was very impressed by this book.
Although, I was appalled and shocked at some of the major affairs, riskiness and unobliterated tru
Katie Cain
Nov 29, 2009 Katie Cain rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorite
Wow! Jackie Kennedy had an incredibly harrowing life as a first lady! This biography exposed details of the Kennedy marriage that I was definitely not aware existed. This gave me a whole new perspective on the pressures of being such a public figure in the midst of difficult personal situations. I think that in some ways this book was a longer and more sophisticated version of an E! news report on the Kennedy's relationship and in other ways is interesting to understanding the dynamics such an i ...more
Helen Longvall
Jun 20, 2011 Helen Longvall rated it really liked it
Intriguing, for a historical novel, it made a great beach read. I enjoyed learning about the JFK years through Barbara Leaming's unique perspective of placing Jackie as the protagonist. It really did add some color to the image I had previously understood.
Feb 25, 2011 Suzanne rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
“To many Americans who had seen dozens of pictures of her during the campaign, a glimpse of the hair, sunglasses, gloves would have been enough to identify her as ‘Jackie.’ To people who knew little else abut her, that was who she was. In fact, like so much in her life, the aim of her signature style was concealment. A chemical straightener disguised the naturally kinky hair she hated. The teased bouffant masked a low hairline. Kid gloves covered large, strong, mannish hands that an early boyf ...more
This was a completely different book from the other factual books I've read about JFK. This one is written from the POV of Jackie's life in the White House and you can't help but be horrified by the dreadful way that her husband treated her. I knew he was unfaithful but this book was shocking in showing how many women he cheated on her with-prostitutes, friends, several long term affairs at the same time, almost every female staff member, campaign workers and of course the infamous fling with Ma ...more
Jun 17, 2009 Karalee rated it it was amazing
I have recommended this book to a number of people and they all have loved it as much as I did. It is a great blend of personal story and political history. Some of the details are almost unbelievable. If JFK had been president in current times, he would not have been able to get away with almost any of the behavior from his personal life -- both while on the campaign trail and especially while in office. Also, there is such a mystique about the Kennedys and the Kennedy presidency. If he had liv ...more
Jan 18, 2011 Torine rated it really liked it
Fascinating detail about Jackie Kennedy's life during the White House years. Overall, it's impressive how someone so famous managed to remain so private. And it's clear why she wanted it that way. Many aspects of her life are just so heartbreaking... even beyond the trauma of seeing her husband killed. I think a lot of this book shows just how hard she worked, and how smart she was, and how often she was taken for granted.
Jan 10, 2017 Laura rated it really liked it
It would be a good idea to read this before seeing the movie "Jackie" as it explains how adept she was at creating the "image" of a great president. GOOD pictures of all the key players and of the houses/boats would have been very helpful. I would also like to read the book by Clint Hill who was her body guard.
Nov 24, 2016 Marg rated it it was amazing
A compelling book meticulously researched. The complex partnership/ marriage of the Kennedys makes for riveting reading.
Jun 02, 2014 Sue rated it liked it
The Kennedy family fascinates me, and I've read many books on various members, particularly JFK. First ladies fascinate me, and I've read even more books on their roles in history. That said, I always felt that Jackie Kennedy was overrated as celebrity, and she was a celebrity and favorite tabloid target in the 70s, when I was growing up. That's my disclaimer to my opinion on the book.

The author took an interesting tact to the book -- a biography that covers only Jackie's life as First Lady. I'm
Feb 15, 2015 Chelsea rated it liked it
Interesting, quick read. As the title implies, it's very much focused on the domestic (literally) and while the politics of the Kennedy administration are touched upon, they are not explored in depth. It feels like a good introduction into the subject - I want to read more on Jackie and JFK, and I liked the introduction to Harold Macmillan, the British Prime Minister. I'm hoping to track down a biography of him as well.
May 05, 2009 Gerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A startling, intriguing account of the 1,000 day reign of John F Kennedy from Jacqueline's perspective. Wow, how did she manage with all that was going on behind her back? Despite all she remained loyal to her husband and supported him all along the way, even though there were times when she wondered why. A gripping account of the times and a heart rendering ending with the finale in Dallas.
Sep 16, 2014 Lexus rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own-this-book
I absolutely loved this book! I did not, however, enjoyed reading about all the times where Jack cheated on Jackie. Especially with Mary Meyer. The part where they have intercourse in Caroline’s school room is disgusting. There is no doubt in my mind that Mary Meyer was a tramp, along with other women he's been with, other than Jackie.
Anna Pink
Aug 19, 2009 Anna Pink rated it it was amazing
I loved it.
The bit where JFK
has to be summoned back by his father
to visit Jackie when their daughter was stillborn
made me cry.
Especially the bit when he fell to his knees in anguish.
Made me see him as a man,
and beyond the womaniser.
Mar 03, 2008 Rachel rated it it was amazing
This book was the beginning of my obsession with Jackie. I loved watching her metamorphosis from shy and sometimes snobby accessory in the White House to becoming a pivotal influence on the nation. My favorite parts are the dinner parties where her beauty is matched by her intellect in brilliance.
Kathi Jackson
Apr 04, 2016 Kathi Jackson rated it really liked it
I'm torn between 3 and 4 stars for this book. It's full of information but for some reason it was a slow read to me/for me. It definitely gives you the behind-the-scenes of the Kennedy marriage--and so sad that Jack was finally changing when it was too late.
Feb 28, 2008 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I learned so many incredible things about what was going on in Camelot. Who knew that the Kennedy's lost a baby named Patrick towards the end of his presidency. She had to have her sunglasses custom made because her eyes were so far apart. Good Read.
Apr 29, 2012 Stacey rated it liked it
Interesting perspective, but nothing earth-shattering. Jackie was insecure. Jack cheated. Sadly, the ending was still the same.
Jane Gardner
Aug 25, 2016 Jane Gardner rated it really liked it
Interesting, but way too much detail about politics. Much more detail about JFK's frolics than I've ever seen elsewhere. Jackie put up with a LOT of frolicking. I still admire her greatly.
Apr 14, 2015 Martha rated it really liked it
different view of the Kennedy presidency. was at thousand trails in orlando/clermont florida
Apr 26, 2009 Meghan rated it really liked it
I am a nut for anything Kennedy. I actually learned new things from this book, which is quite a feat.
Kathy Baratta
Jun 15, 2013 Kathy Baratta rated it it was amazing
Can not get enough of this period in time. Love this book. Love love love. Jackie O was an amazing woman dint know how she put up with what she did everyday.
Mar 14, 2014 Helensink rated it it was amazing
This reads like a scandalous magazine. Lots of details I never had heard about. Very interesting.
Sheri Saluto
Jan 06, 2013 Sheri Saluto rated it it was amazing
This book was everything I imagined Jackie Kennedy to be and so very inspiring. Her private thoughts come to life in a way only a woman can understand. An amazing read, I couldn't put this down!
Mandy Huot
Feb 14, 2012 Mandy Huot rated it really liked it
This book was very long, but very informative. I learned alot about Jackie that I didn't know, and learned that the Kennedy marriage wasn't as perfect as some people may have assumed.
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Barbara Leaming is the author of “Kick Kennedy: The Charmed Life and Tragic Death of the Favorite Kennedy Daughter” (Thomas Dunne Books, April 12, 2016). She has written three New York Times bestsellers, including her recent book “Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis”. Leaming’s book “Churchill Defiant” received The Emery Reves Award from the International Churchill Centre. Her groundbreaking biogra ...more
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