"The material is both riveting and heartbreaking...Spoto has written a most readable, clear-eyed account of the life of one of the most scrutinized women in American history." Portland Oregonian
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: A Lifeby Donald Spoto
She was America's sweetheart; the embodiment of grace, elegance, style, charm, and-as the world discovered in late 1963-bravery. And though much has been written about the most famous woman of the 20th century, no biography has revealed the true Jackie; none has successfully separated the truth from the lies, or portrayed the Queen of Camelot in all her
She was America's sweetheart; the embodiment of grace, elegance, style, charm, and-as the world discovered in late 1963-bravery. And though much has been written about the most famous woman of the 20th century, no biography has revealed the true Jackie; none has successfully separated the truth from the lies, or portrayed the Queen of Camelot in all her complexity-until now. With access to Jackie's own writings, the archives of the John F. Kennedy Library, and those who knew her best, bestselling celebrity biographer Donald Spoto illuminates Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and the sixty-five years of her life with candor, compassion and compelling detail. Readers will discover:
* The early years: a privileged but lonely childhood that shaped Jackie's resilience and poise, working as a photojournalist for the Washington Times-Herald, and meeting a handsome congressman named Kennedy
* Life as the first lady: dealing with Jack's infidelity, adjusting to life in the spotlight, and her influence on the policies of the Kennedy Administration
* Mrs. Onassis: life after Jack, marrying the Greek tycoon, her accomplished career as a book editor, her final days, and much more
Helen Thomas, Civil White House Correspondent, United Press International
- St. Martin's Press
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- First Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 4.30(w) x 6.54(h) x 1.10(d)
Read an Excerpt
An Excerpt from Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: A Life
During the summer of 1929, America was dancing on an economic volcano, but East Hampton's summer denizens were blissfully high-stepping the Charleston and the Black Bottom at merry weekend parties. On the oppressively hot and humid Sunday, July 28, Janet Lee Bouvier was driven fifteen miles to the nearest hospital, in Southampton. An hour later, her husband, John Vernou (Jack) Bouvier III, dictated telegrams announcing the birth of a girl they at once named Jacqueline Lee, the two names neatly honoring him and his father as well as the infant's maternal grandfather. The baby, according to doctors' calculations, was a month overdue but arrived easily, serene and healthy. Weighing eight pounds, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier had a dramatic tuft of brunette hair, silken ivory skin and, it was soon determined, velvet-brown eyes....
After the child's birth, the family returned to Grandfather Bouvier's Lasata, where the clan was in residence that summer and where relatives and a platoon of servants scurried about, trying to outdo one another in providing luxuries for mother and child. Janet liked to pronounce her baby's name "Jack-leen," but her husband applied no such affectation: his daughter was "Jackie," and so she was addressed by family and friends throughout her life....
In such splendor, set in a graceful and cultivated hamlet, Janet, Jack and their daughter remained until late autumn 1929 -- and to it they returned during the next decade, not only every summer but also frequently off-season. Lasata and its ambience provided, along with the refinements of Park Avenue, the atmosphere in which Jackie lived until adolescence, when even greater luxuries would surround her.
Meet the Author
Donald Spoto, who earned his Ph.D. degree from Fordham University, is the author of definitive biographies of, among others, Alfred Hitchcock, Tennessee Williams, Laurence Olivier, Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, and Ingrid Bergman. His previous book was The Hidden Jesus: A New Life. He lives in Los Angeles.
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