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This is Barbara Leaming’s third Kennedy biography. The first third of the book recycles considerable material from the first biography minus the dubious theories. Learning’s major fault as a biographer is her tendency to mind read. In this biography learning has considerable documentation from a variety of sources. The author details after the assassination how Bobby Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson sought to comfort her and to use her politically.
The main or key thrust of Leaming’s book is her claim that Jackie had PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). She documents the clinical symptoms including flashbacks, insomnia, numbness, avoidance, fear, depression and anger. The author also points out that the condition was not medically recognized until 1980. The author claims Jackie fought her way back to good mental health through her work in publishing and her contributions to land mark preservation. The author documents that Jackie’s Sister Lee Radziwell told that Bobby Kennedy’s assassination triggered a recurrence of the PTSD in Jackie. When the British poet Stephen Spender asked in 1980, about her greatest achievement, she told him, “I think it is that after going through a rather difficult time, I consider myself comparatively sane, I am proud of that.”
One of the iconic women of the 20th century, Jackie Kennedy, is such an interesting story and how her life and that of the country was dramatically changed on the terrible day in Dallas. According to the author Jackie spent the rest of her life attempting to heal from that horrific day in Dallas. Eliza Foss did a good job narrating the book.
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Interesting story, in-depth research, and compelling narrative, but often repetitive, especially as it relates to the PTSD aspect. This is my first lengthy encounter with Jackie Kennedy, and, although I admire her for her perseverance, I did not find her very inspiring or likable. She comes across as canning and opportunistic. I was hoping for a strength and nobility of character, but I did not find them in this biography. I was more inspired by Catherine the Great. Eliza Foss's narration was excellent.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
An extremely incisive book on the life of Jacqueline Kennedy after the Presidents assassination. Thoroughly recommended.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Who knew that Jackie Kennedy suffered the rest of her life of Extreme PTSD after the assassination of her husband President JFKennedy? Not me, so this well written book is very interesting and revealing.
Jackie unaware of her condition suffered terribly during her life because little was known or understood about PTSD in the 60s.
At last-minute book that does her justice and credit for a much maligned and misunderstood life..
3 of 3 people found this review helpful