Alla's Reviews > Jackie, Ethel, Joan: Women of Camelot

Jackie, Ethel, Joan by J. Randy Taraborrelli
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Apr 30, 12

it was amazing

“Jackie, Ethel, Joan: The Women of Camelot” by J. Randy Taraborrelli paint a biographical picture of the famous wives of JFK, RFK, and Ted Kennedy—along with the many twists and turns of their fortunes. Jackie was the most famous of the three, though enough time is spent covering Ethel, RFK’s gradual widow, and Joan, Ted’s wife of two decades, as well.

The book starts as all the family is gathered around the Kennedy compound celebrating JFK’s election to presidency, and goes off from there—with some flash-backs to how the family got to this point, to the ultimately tragic developments that led to Jackie and Ethel becoming widows. Events are covered in such a way, that one can barely feel that he is reading a historical account instead of a novel. Infidelities by the Kennedy men, including JFK’s and RFK’s alleged trysts with Marilyn Monroe, heavily impact the lives of the Camelot women, as do the assassinations of both men, the transition from the White House, Jackie’s rebuilding-of her life through Aristotle Onassis, Joan’s marital problems with Ted, and much more.

I read this book following Taraborrelli’s “After Camelot” and both books complement each other—if “After Camelot” is life after JFK and RFK, covering the twilight of the Kennedy dynasty, this book is the peak of the Kennedy dynasty. It was ultimately Jackie who described JFK’s presidency as Camelot, and this book really delves into this period of time—with all of its glory and tragedy. Overall, an interesting look at an era gone by—full of gender inequality , discreet media, decadence, big egos, and assassinations which forever changed the landscape of American politics, spiced up by private conversations, scandals, revelations, and backroom antics.

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