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Jackie, Ethel, Joan: Women of Camelot
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Jackie, Ethel, Joan: Women of Camelot

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  2,124 Ratings  ·  140 Reviews
Jacqueline Bouvier. Ethel Skakel. Joan Bennett. Three women who married into America's royal family and became forever linked in legend. Set against the panorama of explosive American history, this unique story offers a rarely-seen look at the relationship shared among the three women -- during the Camelot years and beyond. Whether dealing with their husbands' blatant infi ...more
Paperback, 752 pages
Published October 1st 2000 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2000)
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Of all the books about the Kennedys I've read over the years, this is one of the most revelatory and personal that I've yet read. Jackie and Ethel Kennedy I had known about largely through the supportive roles both played for their husbands in the prime of their political careers. Then there was the "Jackie O" phase and Jackie Kennedy's later career as an associate editor for Doubleday in New York. Ethel Kennedy, for her part, became the keeper of her husband's legacy following his murder in 196 ...more
Camelot: where the women are whiny witches and the men are slimy cads.

I feel like I needed to take a shower after I listened to this book. Not much more than a gossip rag, it was peppered with too many "perhaps'" and "maybes" and "probablys" to take it seriously. I need to read some other stuff about the Kennedys because this was far from scholarly and unbiased. It also assumed that you know all about the Kennedy the Chappaquitic accident, etc. Unless you want a dose of gossip, I'
Dec 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was quite an interesting study on the connecting lives of the three Kennedy wives. I think these wives are even more intriguing than their husbands. I have read more about Jackie so that part was not really new for me but the insight on Joan and Ethel was just as intriguing. Each of them had to find their own coping mechanisms as life as a Kennedy wife of that generation was certainly not easy because of the roving eyes of their husbands and because each had to endure so many other tragedie ...more
Mar 07, 2011 rated it liked it
This book read a bit like a gossip column...not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but when I finished, I didn't feel I'd really read a history book. It was fascinating, however, to read some of the intimate, lurid details of the family history, and to learn of the relationship among the sisters-in-law.

Four-stars seems a bit too much for this book, but I did really enjoy it. It was a relatively light, entertaining read about the Kennedy women.
Joanna Mieso
Dec 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book was just ok, a good one to read at the beach. There was nothing that I haven't read before, but the chapter on the Cuban Missile Crisis absolutely gave me chills. I was 9 years old at the time and can recall vividly air raid drills - never realized just how close the US came to WWIII.

The fictionalized dialogue was out of line - I simply could NOT see these women speaking this stuff - the only saving grace was the relief from gratuitous profanity.

I liked this book. That being said, I questioned from the beginning the writer's purpose and his documentation. Granted there are facts that can be substantiated: birth, marriage, and death dates, etc., as well as audio and video recordings of the various Kennedys. Still, I have never come across a bibliography such as J. Randy Taraborrelli provides. The oral histories and seeping vagueness or biases of persons interviewed is merely, he said/she said; amounting to rumor, gossip, innuendo and spe ...more
Ea Solinas
Apr 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Dozens of books have been written about Jacqueline Kennedy, the stylish wife of the late president. At least this one has some new information -- J. Randy Taraborrelli also explores the other Kennedy wives in "Jackie, Ethel, Joan: Women of Camelot." The problem is Taraborrelli's talent for making stuff up.

Jackie was a confident debutante who impressed (or irritated) people with her charm and refined sensibiltiies. Ethel a religious, exuberant gal who fit in with the rough'n'tumble Kennedy family
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ah, this was such a guilty pleasure read. All the glorious drama and destiny, scandal and tragedy, love, loss, and legacy!
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing! Not only did the author explore the relationship between the women, but he also delved into their individual personalities. After reading the book, I understand what motivated each woman to behave as she did and how the traumatic events each went through affected her. J. Randy Taraborelli does an outstanding job of explaining each woman's feelings and reasons for her actions, and does so without making excuses for their missteps. In addition to having a greater understandi ...more
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I grew up in the Kennedy era so as I looked at the pictures and outfits, and I remembered seeing them on the television or Life Magazine in those outfits. The book gave many behind the scenes accounts of life as a Kennedy and particularly as a wife of a Kennedy. If you want some juicy details about the family and like history, you'll like this book. ""Jackie, Ethel, Joan: Women of Camelot" is a perfect read....historic and informative while being entertaining and glitzy. By th ...more
Sep 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Even though I'm a fan of all things historical, biographical, and specifically Kennedy, this was a little hard to get through due to it's size. Really interesting though, a TON of information and details that I'm sure the general public doesn't know (and maybe wouldn't be interested in?) but that I found really interesting. The author did a great job putting it all together though...I can't even imagine the time and research that goes into a project like this!
Cheryl S.
Oct 23, 2009 rated it liked it
This was pretty good considering I have already read quite a bit about these woman. This was a different perspective, however, and I found it interesting how the almost forgotten days of pre womens' lib affected the attitudes and decisions of these three famous women as well as Rose Kennedy and their Kennedy sisters in law.
Missy Cahill
Well not as in depth as other books about the
Kennedy woman, it was great to learn more about Ethel & Joan. I felt so sorry for poor Joan Kennedy about the way Ted treated her. I'm very curious to read the late Ted Kennedy's autobiography and see what he has to say for himself about those years.
Apr 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was one of the first books I've read about the Kennedys although they are still talked about today. It was interesting to learn all that these women had to endure in their position of power and how much they had to suffer as a result of the power the family held
T.B. Markinson
Nov 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Listened to the audiobook and it kept my interest. Lots of juicy gossip and maybe not enough facts, but still enjoyed it.
Teresa A. Mauk
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
This was an interesting take on the Kennedys because it focused on the three women. Some of the stories were familiar but many were not. I was especially interested in Joan since I knew very little about her and certainly didn't realize what a s*(& Ted was to her. As an interesting side note, I frequent a salon in Hyannis and one day overheard the receptionist (as a joke) threatening to put Ethel on my stylist's calendar. My stylist replied that she could put Joan on her books anytime but NO ...more
Signe Liisa
May 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: biographies
I find it odd that the relationships between the 3 women were not examined more thoroughly. Joan was mentioned the least, and a less full picture painted of her. Of course Jackie held the limelight but how could the author mention the fact that Jackie had never even met her beloved son's wife in the 5 years she was married to him and not explain why? A good listen and fly-on-the-wall to the Kennedy family ethos, but left out some important history.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
I knew some things about the Kennedy family, having read other books about them, but there were some added elements and some completely new stories that I didn't already know included in this book. All three women sacrificed a lot in varying ways marrying into the Kennedy family.

It was a good book club choice. Everyone enjoyed talking about parts of the book they found particularly poignant or illuminating.
Mrs Amanda Conquest
The Kennedy wives.

I'm enthralled about anything to do with the Kennedy family. Having read many books about the brothers Kennedy, I thought learning about the wives would be interesting.
This book was fascinating, sad, thought provoking and just amazing.
It is really sad what happened to the whole family. I'm just sad now that I have finished this book!
Well worth reading for the historical factor.
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I found this book considerably less interesting than his more recent book. In this book it appears to be a collection of things from other books. Nothing I read here was new to me and that was a bit of a disappointment. There was quite a bit of speculation when it should have been facts which was also disappointing. Would definitely recommend reading his more recent book rather than this one.
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
To me this was one of the better books about the Kennedy family that I have read. I thought the author did a very good job of telling the story between these 3 ladies and their husbands.. It is an inspiration that even if you have money and power life is not perfect or always easy. I enjoyed the book very much....
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
an overall sad book
May 11, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a huge disappointment. It was like a beach read novel; I finally quit halfway through.
Whittney Hooks
May 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
The Kennedys were terrible people.
Dixie Brown
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great book. Showed the very different personalities and drive behind these women. Each woman will no doubt leave an impression in the Kennedy dynasty.
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
There is so much I want to talk about with this book. The Kennedy men were definitely flawed.
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
The writer of this book is a great storyteller, but understood too perfectly that focusing on Jackie and Ethel would sell more copies of this book than focusing on Joan. This book did not focus enough on personal strength of these women and focused too much on Jackie's strange lifestyle that is too difficult more me to understand as an everyday world woman.

Joan seemed to be an underrated figure and the more inspirational figure because she was able to cope without simply relying on self entitle
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not a lot of new stuff on Jackie. I've just read so much about the Kennedys. Some new insight into Ethel and Joan. A few interesting bits about others. An easy read. Those poor women put up with a lot.
Doreen Fritz
Jun 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rb-book-club
Well-researched, with many quotes from interviews, letters, transcripts, etc., I definitely had the impression that the author had good authority for the conclusions that he drew about the major characters in this historical multi-biography. It was very interesting to read about both the public and personal lives of the Kennedy family (America's royalty). Jackie, Ethel, and Joan, each married to one of the sons of Joe and Rose Kennedy, had plenty of luxuries in both material goods as well as in ...more
Apr 30, 2012 rated it 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
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J. Randy Taraborrelli is an author known for biographies of contemporary entertainers and political figures. He is a featured writer in several entertainment magazines in Canada, England, and Australia. He also appears on television as an entertainment news reporter on shows such as Entertainment Tonight, Good Morning America, Today and CBS This Morning. Taraborrelli resides in Los Angeles, Califo ...more
More about J. Randy Taraborrelli

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