Grace and Power

  • by Sally Bedell Smith
  • Narrated by Lee Adams
  • 20 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In Grace and Power, New York Times best-selling author Sally Bedell Smith takes us inside the Kennedy White House with unparalleled access and insight. Having interviewed scores of Kennedy intimates, including many who have never spoken before, and drawing on letters and personal papers made available for the first time, Smith paints a richly detailed picture of the personal relationships behind the high purpose and poiltical drama of the 20th century's most storied presidency.At the dawn of the 1960s, a 43-year-old president and his 31-year-old first lady (the youngest couple ever to occupy the White House) captivated the world with their easy elegance and their cool conviction that anything was possible. Jack and Jackie Kennedy gathered around them an intensely loyal and brillant coterie of intellectuals, journalists, diplomats, international jet-setters and artists. Perhaps as never before, Washington was sharply divided between the "ins" and the "outs."
In his public life, JFK created a New Frontier, stared down the Soviets, and devoted himself to his wife and children. As first lady, Jackie mesmerized foreign leaders and the American people with her style and sophistication. Smith brilliantly recreates the glamorous pageant of the Kennedy years, as well as the daily texture of the Kennedys' marriage, friendships, political associations, and, in Jack's case, multiple love affairs.
Smith's striking revelations include new information about what drew Jack to his numerous mistresses, and what effects the relationships ultimately had on the women; about the rivalries and resentments among Kennedy's advisers; and about the poignant days before and after Kennedy's assassination.
Smith has fashioned a vivid and nuanced portrait not only of two extraordinary individuals but of a new age that sprang to life around them. Shimmering with intelligence and detail, Grace and Power is history at its finest.

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What the Critics Say

"What Ms. Smith has done is to write the first substantial narrative that captures what daily life was really like in the inner sanctum of the White House during the Kennedy years, with Jack and Jackie appropriately cast as the lead actors in the intriguing drama." (The New York Times)
"Eloquently rendered social history....Highly readable account of the White House milieu shaped by John and Jackie Kennedy..." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

More detail than I wanted

If you want endless details of who dined or partied at the White House, who Jack Kennedy was sleeping with, and what Jackie was wearing when it happened, this book is for you. It's chock full of details about everything and everyone. I was shocked by some of the revelations, and it was fairly titillating; however it is so badly read with endless mis-phrasing and mispronounced words and names, that I nearly gave up on it several times. It was interesting, but a real chore to listen to it. I came away thinking what venal, selfish and self-absorbed people they all were.
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- R. Jones

Very interesting perspective

Very personal portrait of the Kennedy years: factual but not judgmental. Good balance of politics, current events and "gossip". Well read and worth listening to the unabridged version, although admittedly long. Pedantic in spots, particularly in foreign affairs analysis, but quickly returns to the original pace.
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- Susan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-30-2004
  • Publisher: Books on Tape