Synopses & Reviews
As seen on NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
, CNN, MSNBC, and in the Boston Globe, New York Times
, and USA Today
It is perhaps the most memorable event of the twentieth century: the assassination of president John F. Kennedy
Within seven weeks of president Kennedys assassination in November 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy received more than 800,000 condolence letters. Two years later, the volume of correspondence would exceed 1.5 million letters. For the next forty-six years, the letters would remain essentially untouched.
Now, in her selection of 250 of these astonishing letters, historian Ellen Fitzpatrick reveals a remarkable human record of that devastating moment, of Americans across generations, regions, races, political leanings, and religions, in mourning and crisis. Reflecting on their sense of loss, their fears, and their hopes, the authors of these letters wrote an elegy for the fallen president that captured the soul of the nation.
“Ellen Fitzpatricks wonderful book which is both a perceptive history of the public response to John Kennedys death and a selection of the millions of letters that followed the assassination is a remarkable window into the character of the nation in the 1960s.” Alan Brinkley
“This is a terrific, original, and important work, the perfect match between subject and author. With an historians grasp of time and place and a novelists feel for drama and detail, Fitzpatrick provides a stunningly fresh look at the impact of JFKs assassination on the American people.” Doris Kearns Goodwin
“A terrific, original, and important work….Fitzpatrick provides a stunningly fresh look at the impact of JFKs assassination on the American people.”
—Doris Kearns Goodwin
For Letters to Jackie, noted historian and News Hour with Jim Lehrer commentator Ellen Fitzpatrick combed through literally thousands of condolence messages sent by ordinary Americans to Jacqueline Kennedy following the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy, in 1963. The first book ever to examine this extraordinary collection, Letters to Jackie presents 250 intimate, heartfelt, eye-opening responses to what was arguably the most devastating event in twentieth century America, providing a fascinating perspective on a singular time in the history of our nation.
About the Author
Ellen Fitzpatrick, a professor and scholar specializing in modern American political and intellectual history, is the author and editor of six books and has appeared regularly on PBSs The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. She has been interviewed as an expert on modern American political history by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, CBS's Face the Nation, and National Public Radio. The Carpenter Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire, where she has been recognized for Excellence in Public Service, Fitzpatrick lives in Newton, Massachusetts.