Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis still fascinates the American public even 17 years after her death as she graces the cover of this week’s People Magazine. With newly released interviews recorded just four months after her husband’s early death in 1963, a more in-depth look at the elusive and alluring Jackie Kennedy spell-bounds fans.
Historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr recorded several hours of interview at Jackie’s bidding after her husband’s untimely death, but promised to keep them sealed for 50 years.
Daughter Caroline Kennedy, however, has now taken the initiative to release them just a few years early in order to commemorate the 50th anniversary of her father John F. Kennedy’s presidential inauguration. The book, Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy, has, not surprisingly, risen to the top of the bestselling book charts.
People "don't always appreciate her intellectual curiosity," Caroline says upon the release of the book, “her sense of the ridiculous, her sense of adventure, or her unerring sense of what was right."
Some light is shed on the juiciest aspects of Jackie’s life, most prominently her knowledge (or lack thereof) of JFK’s alleged infidelities. When asked in an ABC interview special with Diane Sawyer if her mother Jackie ever spoke about JFK’s extramarital affairs, daughter Caroline Kennedy pushes back with “I wouldn’t be her daughter if I would share all that” .
Jackie rustles some feathers with her comments describing Martin Luther King, Jr as a “phony” for having cheated on his wife, among other wildly candid comments about various politicians and sweeping generalizations about nationalities, genders and religions.
Jackie "finally has her say," in the interviews, says Laurence Leamer, author of The Kennedy Women. "And has it her way."