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Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books

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  • Posted January 1, 2011

    A HUGE disappointment

    I thought the premise of this "autobiography in books" sounded fresh and original, and I had looked forward to reading it. So I downloaded it to my Nook and settled in for a long winter's read. The book turned out to be a great disappointment. Yes, it does contain accounts of some interesting encounters during Jackie's publishing career which have probably not been reported previously, but Mr. Kuhn's "analysis" of the significance of events is sophomoric, and his "insights" into her mind are without merit. I just read a passage about Jackie's involvement in the publishing of Remembering the Ladies, a book about women of the revolutionary period of American history, in which the author describes Jackie's reactions as if they were factual, instead of products of his own fancy. It reads more like a poorly written term paper in which a high school student has come up with an idea and is stretching every imaginable detail to prove her point. This analogy is applicable to the book in gereral. In the same chapter, a supposed eyewitness to an editorial meeting at which Jackie was present described her as a "tiny little woman". In none of my extensive reading about her or in conversations with people who had met with her has she ever been described except as tall with broad shoulders and, by her own admission, "big feet". It made me wonder if the woman quoted only wished she had been at the meeting instead of actually being there. The text is sprinkle with inaccuracies which anyone with any knowledge of its subject can easily spot. The author states that both of her husbands "died young". Certainly the president was, but has anyone ever thought Onassis was "young" when he died? (or even when he was alive???) These criticisms may seem trite to some, but, given the premise of the book and my expectation of reading a literate and intellectually interesting account, I have found it to be a waste of time and money. What "Reading Jackie" needed was a good editor!!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2010

    Outstanding and Highly Recommended

    William Kuhn is a historian previously known for writing about the Victorian Court. He clearly delights in uncovering the thoughts and interests of this regal, private yet intelligent and provocative woman through the lens of her professional life. This is a respectful and engaging portrait!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 7, 2011

    Don't waste your time.

    This is a terribly-written book. Convoluted in many places; jumps around (the Clara Bow book is mentioned in three different spots). I'm glad I borrowed this from the public library - but I wish I had not wasted my time on it. Not enough detail in some spots, way too much in others! Some of the re-telling of events end awkwardly. I wouldn't give it any stars at all, except the system requires an entry! Only the most fanatical Jackie fan will want to read this. Many of the photos, especially towards the front of the book, do not have captions, and when you press the link to the photo credits, that's all you get, the credit, no explanation of the photo, no date. I made myself finish the last half of the book so that I could give it an objective review. And the proofreading was not up to snuff - adding to the annoyance. I should have known better - I read the excerpt in Vanity Fair a couple months back, and couldn't believe how badly it was written. But when I saw this at the library, I decided I would give it a chance, maybe the rest of the book was better - but I was wrong.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 7, 2011

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