Synopses & Reviews
From the bestselling author of Kennedy Weddings and Diana and Jackie comes a powerful and moving collection of the condolence letters Jacqueline Kennedy received after the assassination of John F. Kennedy
In the weeks and months following the assassination of her husband, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy received more than one million letters. The impact of President Kennedys death was so immense that people from every station in life wrote to her, sharing their feelings of sympathy, sorrow, and hope.
She received letters from political luminaries such as Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King Jr., and Charles De Gaulle. Hollywood stars like Lauren Bacall, Vivian Leigh, and Gene Kelly voiced their sympathy, as did foreign dignitaries including Queen Elizabeth II, the King and Queen of Greece, and the Prince of Monaco. Distinguished members of the arts and society—Ezra Pound, Noel Coward, Babe Paley, Langston Hughes, Oleg Cassini, Josephine Baker—offered their heartfelt condolences. And children, with the most heartbreaking sincerity, reached out to the First Lady to comfort her in her time of grief.
More than just a compendium of letters, Dear Mrs. Kennedy uses these many voices to tell the unforgettable story of those fateful four days in November, when the world was struck with shock and sadness. It vividly captures the months that followed, as a nation---and a family---attempted to rebuild.
Filled with emotion, patriotism, and insight, the letters are a poignant time capsule of one of the seminal events of the twentieth century. Dear Mrs. Kennedy offers a diverse portrait not only of the aftermath of the assassination, but of the Kennedy mystique that continues to captivate the world.
"'Never have I been so filled with revulsion, anger, and sorrow as when I heard of your husband's death,' wrote Winston Churchill to Jackie Kennedy on November 24, 1963. And a fourth-grade Nebraska farm boy wrote to little Caroline Kennedy, 'I am sorry to hear about your Daddy. God will take good care of him.' Immediately after President Kennedy's assassination, more than 1,250,000 letters arrived at the White House from the famous and ordinary citizens alike, expressing their sorrow and sympathy for the president's young widow, Although she promised that the letters would be displayed at the Kennedy Library, they remained filed in a warehouse for decades until the opening of the library building. A controversial culling reducing the collection to 368,000 letters also delayed cataloguing of the letters until 1988. Mulvaney ((Diana and Jackie) and former publishing executive De Angelis regard the collection as a 'poignant time capsule,' and they include an informative historical backdrop for their selections, including letters from society queen Babe Paley, Rev. Billy Graham, and publisher Bennett Cerf, among many others. For those who relive the pain of the Kennedy assassination every November 22, this volume will provide company and perhaps some consolation. 20 b&w illus. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
From the bestselling author of "Kennedy Weddings" and "Diana and Jackie" comes a powerful and moving collection of letters Jacqueline Kennedy received after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. 20 b&w images.
About the Author
JAY MULVANEY, the author of Kennedy Weddings and Diana and Jackie and an Emmy Award--winning writer and producer, was once an office boy for Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
PAUL DE ANGELIS has been an editor, editorial director, and editor-in-chief at such publishing companies as St. Martins Press, E. P. Dutton, and Kodansha America.