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Still deeply grieving the loss of her husband, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy sat down with historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., in early March, 1964, to record a total of seven interviews. These previously sealed tapes provide a fresh narrative of John Kennedy's life as a Senator, candidate, and President, and Mrs. Kennedy's experience in those years, providing new detail on their private conversations, her backstage role in his political life, diplomacy and world crises, and her definite and consistently original views about the cast of characters who surrounded them both. Mrs. Kennedy talks about her State visits abroad and her insights about world leaders of the time, including Charles de Gaulle, Nehru, and Kruschev. She discusses the presidential campaign of 1960, the selection of Lyndon Johnson as Vice President, Richard Nixon, and the Cuban Missle Crisis. She also discusses President Kennedy's Catholicism, the love between the Kennedy brothers, and her own evolving sense of herself as First Lady and family life in the White House.
In conjunction with the fiftieth anniversary of President Kennedy's Inauguration, Caroline Kennedy and the Kennedy family are now releasing seven hours of these beautifully restored recordings on eight CDs with accompanying transcripts. With a forward by Caroline Kennedy and introduced and annotated by renowned presidential historian Michael Beschloss, these extraordinary interviews should erode any notion that Jacqueline Kennedy was out of the loop on the major events and personalities of her husband's administration. They revise scene after scene of the history of the late 1950s and early 1960s that we thought we knew, and make the past come alive through the words and voice of an eloquent eyewitness to history.
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