Jackie After O: One Remarkable Year When Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Defied Expectations and Rediscovered Her Dreams

Jackie After O: One Remarkable Year When Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Defied Expectations and Rediscovered Her Dreams

3.5 12
by Tina Cassidy
     
 

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Former Boston Globe reporter Tina Cassidy delivers a remarkable account of one year in the life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, America’s favorite first lady and an international icon. 1975 was a year of monumental changes for Jackie: it was the year she lost her second husband, shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, saved one of New York City’s

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Overview

Former Boston Globe reporter Tina Cassidy delivers a remarkable account of one year in the life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, America’s favorite first lady and an international icon. 1975 was a year of monumental changes for Jackie: it was the year she lost her second husband, shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, saved one of New York City’s cultural landmarks at Grand Central Station, and found her true calling—not as a powerful man’s wife or the mother of future leaders, but as a woman of the workforce with a keen mind and a dedication to excellence. Readers of Christopher Andersen’s Jackie After Jack and Pamela Clarke Keogh’s Jackie Style will find no better look at the intimate world of America’s Queen of Camelot than Tina Cassidy’s Jackie After O.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Cassidy (Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born) focuses her attention on a lesser known Jackie O in her newest. While "The world knew was beautiful, stoic, and rich… It did not know, or perhaps did not care, that she was interested in history and architecture, that she was a talented writer, a voracious reader, and a person of some ambitions of her own." The year is 1975, and though the memory of JFK's assassination over a decade ago is still relatively fresh in the nation's memory, Jackie—newly widowed for the second time after the death of Aristotle Onassis—has begun to pursue her own goals. Still the target of paparazzi and folks looking to cash in on the Kennedy name, Jackie secures a position as editor at Viking, and later, Doubleday, where she would work till her death. In addition to her career-related duties, Jackie also took it upon herself to save Grand Central Terminal from the fate that befell the original Penn Station, a campaign that would prove successful in preserving one of New York City's most iconic landmarks. In addition to being compelling sketch of a widow seeking to rebuild her life, Cassidy's portrait of Jackie O also addresses grander, timely themes, such as the juggling of public and private lives, as well as the plight of women entering a still male-dominated workplace. Photos. (May)
Kirkus Reviews
A biography of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929–1994) focusing on a pivotal year in her life, 1975. Former Boston Globe reporter and editor Cassidy (Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born, 2006) sets out to prove that Onassis, though arguably a socialite, was no dilettante--that her seemingly sudden decision to immerse herself in the worlds of literature and historical preservation was born of longstanding interest and expertise in both. The author uses 1975, the year in which Onassis was widowed for the second time, to examine this transformation from wife to activist and editor. Rather than creating focus, though, this lens often refracts. Cassidy includes detailed biographical information from earlier parts of her subject's life in order to contextualize the choices she made during this pivotal year. Therefore, though that single year organizes the book, each of its significant events--her second husband's death, her work as a consulting editor for Viking, her rejection of the political posts offered to her--is examined broadly, not deeply. For example, the chapter about her involvement in the campaign to maintain Grand Central Station's status as a landmark site is as much about her restoration of the White House and her involvement in the preservation of Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. Throughout, Cassidy is highly sympathetic to Onassis. She quotes Sally Quinn, a Washington Post writer who criticized Onassis in the fall of 1975 ("she is going literary-journalistic because…that's where the glamour is, and the action") and promptly dismisses her: "Quinn used the journalistic disguise of her own thoughts by inserting what ‘skeptics' thought." Cassidy offers no evidence for this assertion, leaving readers unable to determine whether or not Quinn was actually voicing a common criticism of the time. A well-researched but limited account of a year in the life of Jackie O.
Mitchell Zuckoff
“With style and grace befitting her subject, Tina Cassidy reveals the remarkable third act of an iconic American life. JACKIE AFTER O takes us beyond Camelot and Aristotle to the woman herself as she discovers her voice, her strength, and her purpose. A delightful read.”
Boston Globe
“Sections set in the 1970s are juicy fun (names like Sinatra and Warhol abound), and Cassidy sprinkles her narrative with sharply observed social commentary. . . . This story of midlife reinvention is invigorating and inspiring.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061994333
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/01/2012
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
1,482,942
Product dimensions:
5.88(w) x 8.42(h) x 0.99(d)

What People are saying about this

Mitchell Zuckoff

“With style and grace befitting her subject, Tina Cassidy reveals the remarkable third act of an iconic American life. JACKIE AFTER O takes us beyond Camelot and Aristotle to the woman herself as she discovers her voice, her strength, and her purpose. A delightful read.”

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