Reading Jackie

Reading Jackie

3.62 (695 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis never wrote a memoir, but she told her life story and revealed herself in intimate ways through the nearly 100 books she brought into print during the last two decades of her life as an editor at Viking and Doubleday. Based on archives and interviews with Jackie's authors, colleagues, and friends, "Reading Jackie" mines this significant period of her life to reveal both the serious and the mischievous woman underneath the glamorous public image. Though Jackie had a reputation for avoiding publicity, she willingly courted controversy in her books. She was the first editor to commission a commercially-successful book telling the story of Thomas Jefferson's relationship with his female slave. Her publication of Gelsey Kirkland's attack on dance icon George Balanchine caused another storm. Jackie rarely spoke of her personal life, but many of her books ran parallel to, echoed, and emerged from her own experience. She was the editor behind bestsellers on the assassinations of Tsar Nicholas II and John Lennon, and in another book she paid tribute to the allure of Marilyn Monroe and Maria Callas. Her other projects take us into territory she knew well: journeys to Egypt and India, explorations of the mysteries of female beauty and media exploitation, into the minds of photographers, art historians, and the designers at Tiffany & Co. Many Americans regarded Jackie as the paragon of grace, but few knew her as the woman sitting on her office floor laying out illustrations, or flying to California to persuade Michael Jackson to write his autobiography. "Reading Jackie" provides a compelling behind-the-scenes look at Jackie at work: how she commissioned books and nurtured authors, as well as how she helped to shape stories that spoke to her strongly. Jackie is remembered today for her marriages to JFK and to Aristotle Onassis, but her real legacy is the books that reveal the tastes, recollections, and passions of an independent woman.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 645 pages
  • 142.24 x 218.44 x 33.02mm | 703.06g
  • Thorndike Press
  • Detroit, MI, United States
  • English
  • Large type / large print
  • large type edition
  • 141043561X
  • 9781410435613

Review quote

"William Kuhn reveals the Jackie I knew as a person and professional: serious, smart, intuitive about ideas and aesthetics, but also down to earth in the sense of understanding the potential audience for a book. In "Reading Jackie" I learned so much about her I didn't know, and Kuhn tells the story with such flowing grace of phrase and structure. A splendid work." --Bill Moyers "Jackie appears (as she was) a well-liked, respected colleague, often slyly funny and not given to showboating ... Seeing Jackie kneeling on her office floor going through page layouts gives us a new image to keep that myth alive ... If we're going to have a myth, why not one with her nose in a book?" --"The Washington Post" "Unexpectedly and intelligently dishy ... In the end, this is quite a fascinating portrait of a complex woman, who had the interests and enthusiasms of her class and was allowed to indulge those passions with singular force and focus." --"The Boston Globe" "A reshow more

Rating details

695 ratings
3.62 out of 5 stars
5 23% (158)
4 33% (229)
3 32% (221)
2 9% (64)
1 3% (23)
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