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America's Queen: The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (Thorndike Biography) Hardcover – Large Print, 1 Mar 2001

4.1 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Large Print, 1 Mar 2001
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 966 pages
  • Publisher: Thorndike Press; Lrg edition (Mar. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786231858
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786231850
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 16 x 4.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,589,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Fresh from her well-received life of Queen Elizabeth II, the historian and biographer Sarah Bradford turns her hand to America's own answer to royalty, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Painstakingly detailed, impressively fair, the result is the most definitive account yet of a woman who captured the imagination of the American public like no First Lady before or after her. Bradford seems to have interviewed almost everyone who had ever been intimate with Onassis, including George Plimpton, Gore Vidal, Joan Kennedy and even a few ex-lovers. Most notably of all, Jackie's sister Lee Radziwill speaks with unexpected frankness about the mixture of rivalry and affection that marked their relationship since childhood. Jackie-lovers, take note: this is no hagiography, and its subject certainly comes off as no saint. As gracious as this American icon could be, she also had moments of coldness and even greed, including a particularly shocking moment by the bedside of Aristotle Onassis's dying son. Yet, in the end, non-airbrushed anecdotes like these only serve to make this most private of public figures even more fascinating.

Jackie was, as Bradford writes, "a complex woman of many facets, concealed insecurities and intricate defence mechanisms, a strong urge toward the limelight contrasting with a desire for privacy and concealment.... Behind the mask of beauty and fame lay a shrewd mind, a ruthless judgment of people, antennae finely turned to any sign of pretentiousness or pomposity, and a wry, even raunchy sense of humour". The figure who emerges from subsequent pages is as compelling as the heroine of any novel, and it is to Bradford's credit that she doesn't seem to have fallen completely under her subject's spell. Her approach is sympathetic, but never fawning; candid, but never sensationalist. For those who are curious not about Jackie's glamour but about its source, America's Queen offers an unprecedented look at the flesh-and-blood woman behind the Camelot myth. --Carlotta DeWitt --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Some of the most personally knowledgeable observations about [Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis] that have ever been put into print." The Boston Globe

"Compulsively readable" The Washington Post" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a book that I would normally give a wide berth. I received this as a Christmas pressie and I have to say that I was for the most time, thoroughly absorbed in a candid text that sought to deconstruct the myth that was Jackie. Some chapters of the book offered little new - her early life and her craving for validation particularly from powerful men. The book confirmed some of my worst suspiscions about the lady herself, and the mass of contradiction that made up her character and influenced her life; Her fear of poverty ran counter to an almost insatiable desire to spend. Her emotional warmth, beguiling wit and intelligence were coupled with a scheming edginess and skittish treatment of people she would often mistakenly class as minions. I found the book intriuging; as it drew to a close I felt little envy towards the women who on several occasions appeared to have held the world in the palm of her hand. Rather I had sympathy and a sense of frustration towards the icon of American Dreams. Sarah Bradford has done her research well and the title of the book is a retrospective challenge to the sad and tortuous underbelly of Jackie O's life. I felt there could have been less attention to financial fripperies and more serious reflection on the psychology of someone such as Jackie who was driven in all aspects of her life. This was what I wanted to know more of. Nevertheless I felt that the writer managed to balance all elements of a fascinating life without descending in mawkish sentimentality. Incidentally I was impressed with her deft handling of the momentous political events taking place around Jackie, and her ability to demonstrate chameleon like qualities in such serious backdrops, uber-charming campaigning for JFK's Presidency in the aftermath of miscarriage and infidelity.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Although not perhaps what could be called a 'scholarly' account of Jackie's life, Bradford's light and chatty prose makes for very easy yet satisfying reading - like the best kind of gossip, I was frequently agog to know what would happen next. Bradford succeeds brilliantly in conveying the glamour and allure of the White House years, as well as the horror and sorrow of November, 1963. Nor does the light-weight tone suggested by the bright pink cover mean that Bradford hasn't done her homework. She uses an incredibly wide variety of source material and seems to have identified and interviewed many of those who were closest to Jackie, JFK and Onassis during their life-times.

This chunky biography is one of the most beguiling and effective 'page turners' I've ever come across and I would unhesitatingly recommend it as a beach or pool-side companion.
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By C on 30 Jun. 2003
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be very well written and really gave an insight to the life and personality of Jackie Kennedy. It did not take on the usual style of some biographies of literally being a linear account of someone's life. Having known practically nothing about Jackie Kennedy prior to reading this I thought it was a vivid portayal.
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By A Customer on 21 Jan. 2001
Format: Hardcover
.I have just read this book and am left with a mixture of thoughts about Jackie. She was obviously a very intelligent and perceptive woman. She had great style and elegance which has inspired women ever since. She seemed to be highly sensitive and on occasions individuals could be 'frozen out' if they said the 'wrong thing'! She was a very complex woman and I am sure there were unresolved areas in her emotional life that drove the extremely ambitious side of her nature and also gave her the intense desire for copious wealth. Having read about Jackie, warts and all, I still feel admiration for her. I still like her.
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book so much. It is well written, full of startling facts. My husband begged me to get my face out of this book! I finished the book wondering do i like Jackie O, admire her or just feel sad for all she and her family endured. The effort that must have gone into this book by the author is amazing.
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Format: Hardcover
For Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, this volumptuous book covers no more than previous biographies...however, it does make for a read that still captures the famed Camelot era and beyond. The woman herself, has been a constant mystery in reality, with conflicting opinions from family, friends and "snubbed" friends alike...whatever the final synopsis of this woman may be, one can never doubt she held herself with utmost poise and glamour, with a shrewd perception of the public opinion.
Compared to the detailed writing on Jacqeline's early years, the lack of writing about Jacqueline in her final years is disappointing, however...in the end she guarded her family and personal life to strive for an existence outside of the public arena and in some ways, this book has respected her for that. Combined sympathetic and matter of fact writing, complimented by numerous photo's - this book is not a disappointment.
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Format: Paperback
Anyone who has ever watched a JFK documentary and seen little of Jackie Kennedy must read this book if they've ever wondered about her.
I'm 15 and having watched The Kennedys last year I instantly wanted to know more about America's Queen.
This book starts with her birth and ends with her funeral - not to mention everything in between.
This book has clearly been well researched. A good 600 pages long, it includes everything - her relationships with her parents, in laws and life after JFK.
Best book I've read this year - possibly best biography ever too.
Don't be put off by the size - it's worth it!
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