Read Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story by Barbara Leaming Online


The instant New York Times and USA Today bestseller! The untold story of how one woman's life was changed forever in a matter of seconds by a horrific trauma. Barbara Leaming's extraordinary and deeply sensitive biography is the first book to document Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' brutal, lonely and valiant thirty-one year struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSDThe instant New York Times and USA Today bestseller!The untold story of how one woman's life was changed forever in a matter of seconds by a horrific trauma.Barbara Leaming's extraordinary and deeply sensitive biography is the first book to document Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' brutal, lonely and valiant thirty-one year struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that followed JFK's assassination.Here is the woman as she has never been seen before. In heartrending detail, we witness a struggle that unfolded at times before our own eyes, but which we failed to understand.Leaming's biography also makes clear the pattern of Jackie's life as a whole. We see how a spirited young woman's rejection of a predictable life led her to John F. Kennedy and the White House, how she sought to reconcile the conflicts of her marriage and the role she was to play, and how the trauma of her husband's murder which left her soaked in his blood and brains led her to seek a very different kind of life from the one she'd previously sought.A life story that has been scrutinized countless times, seen here for the first time as the serious and important story that it is. A story for our times at a moment when we as a nation need more than ever to understand the impact of trauma....

Title : Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781250017642
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story Reviews

  • Tracy
    2019-04-02 13:47

    This book was very difficult to finish! The editing was some of the worse I have ever seen! The run-on sentences are so long they actually should be paragraphs! I had to re-read sections many times to try to figure out what point the author is making!Outside of the awful editing, the authors theory that Mrs.Kennedy suffered from PTSD is probably very accurate. It sure puts to shame all of the trashy tabloids, articles and books criticising her and mocking her behaviour and choices for the past 50+ years! It absolutely explains many of her choices that so many mocked her for after the tragic loss of her husband. I believe this theory will stop those who judge her with mocking and contempt and instead give light to compassion and empathy for a woman who lead a nation through one of its darkest hours!

  • Laura
    2019-04-24 21:59

    I am glad that this book was cancelled for the book club, it is a very intense book about Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and her life with John F. Kennedy, before and after the Presidential assassination. I have read several books about her, but nothing quite like this. This book extensively digs into the assassination and the aftermath of her PTSD in the years that followed her until her death. This book really makes you feel empathetic to her and what she went though. I do like the authors research in the background of Jacqueline and the years that followed her. This book was hard to get through sometimes and I found myself tearing up during most of it. I could only imagine what she went through into seeing the love of her life getting assassinated. She was a National treasure, a clothing trendsetter, and a very beautiful woman. I highly recommend this book and think this book makes a wonderful addition to any library.

  • Elaine
    2019-04-21 18:05

    Thoroughly enjoyed this account of Jackie's life after the assassination of JFK. It was very insightful to be able to see how that horrible event affected her. Suffering from post traumatic stress disorder( PTSD) before the term was even known she attempted to soldier on. It is easy to criticise her and forget that she witnessed one of the most traumatic and horrific things imaginable. For someone that was always known to be a very private person, even putting assurances in place after her death not to have her private letters and writings published, this book delves quite deeply into her life and allows us to see the all too human and vulnerable side of a woman well known for her stoicism.

  • Louise
    2019-04-18 21:11

    While the blurbs and reviews of the book say it's about Jackie Kennedy's PTSD, this is less than ½ of the book. It is a more general emotional biography of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.There is a good description of Jackie and her family's unique social position. Her mother's second marriage brought her standing but no wealth. Author, Barbara Leaming, shows how dating, flirting and false relationships were the norm at this time as girls hid their talents and subordinated their interests to boys. The author shows how Jackie did this with Jack. She did not show him that her knowledge of French history was greater than his and arranged it so that he would have to come to her.She gave up a beau offering a stable but boring life, for Jack Kennedy who showed all the signs of excitement to come. Little did Jackie know what was in store. She was chosen not for love, but because she had poise, style, the right religion and enough pedigree to fill the bill.The marriage is characterized by emotional abuse. New, to me, in this story is Jack's serious attraction to a 21 year old Gunilla von Post, whom he travels to Sweden to visit not long after the wedding. JFK is constantly on the prowl, leaving Jackie to cover for herself and for him when he leaves formal social events for trysts. He is not present often and when together, she is an asset more than a wife. A lot of hurt for Jackie preceded the awful day in Dallas.The latter half of the book shows her reaction to the tragedy inclusive of why she wore the blood stained Chanel suit (a "line for line copy" says Leaming) all the way from Dallas to Washington. Jackie's obsession with the Manchester book (The Death of a President: November 1963) shows her need to control the tragedy and and her relations with Bobby Kennedy were the need to share it with some also suffering from loss. There are examples of anger, depression and irrationality. I always figured she married Onassis for protection for her children, but it does not appear that they are part of her life. Leaming only shows that she was seeking safety for herself. At one point she even requests less secret service protection for Carolyn and John. There is a good description of the Onassis marriage and how it did and didn't provide what she needed and what it meant for both parties.There are some big holes in the story. There is more about Jack Kennedy's back and health problems than about Jackie's relationship with her children. How did she explain the tragedy to them? How did they respond to her grief and she to theirs? Leaming says the Warren Commission's bullet theory was "certainly was not how she remembered it". If she addressed this in her testimony why was it ignored? There is a one line mention of "a moment" (my quotes) with John Warnecke who designed the JFK grave site. Was this unguarded moment or something common for her in this period? The post Onassis life is given short shrift given that it is longer than the two marriages together. We do not know who she thinks killed her husband, and who she thinks she needs protection from.In the end, there is a quote, fascinating on many levels. She tells her son that if his father were to return she might "send him away". There is no context, especially since we know nothing of her relationship with John, Jr. Was she finally able to feel the hurt of her husband's many affairs and their sham marriage? Or did she merely mean if she could do it all over, she'd marry someone else to avoid the tragedy? How do we know she said this (it is not footnoted) and if she did, why would she say this to a son who lost his father before he could know him? Leaming has some comments on how this relates to PTSD, but they are not clear. I think quote is more relevant to the mother -son relationship, whatever it may be.Despite the gaps, the book is absorbing. It succeeds in defining the emotions and violence of this period. Standing in Jackie's shoes we re-experience 3 assassinations of key leaders and the Vietnam War which tore families and friendships apart. I don't know of another book that attempts to give an emotional history like this. Books like Bush or Obama on the Couch give a psychological profile and show how it can predict decisions and leadership style. In this book the author is going for something deeper and more difficult, the story of how a trauma shapes a psychology and a life.

  • Caidyn (BW Book Reviews; he/him/his)
    2019-03-31 22:04

    This review and others can be found on BW Book Reviews.DNF at 61%The untold story my ass.Right away in this book, I really got a vibe that this was a sexist book. It immediately focused on Kennedy Onassis’ love life. It didn’t start with her childhood or talking to me about how rough her childhood was. It started with her as a teen, talking with a boy, and pretending not to understand a thing he was talking about. Then, it got into how sniping she was about those boys.It literally only focused on her in relation to other men. What about her going to school? What about her studies since she did go to college? What about her going back to college? What about her work in the White House and things she stood for? What about how two of her kids died and what that did to her?Not only that, but it took forever to get to the thesis that Leaming had about Jackie having PTSD. That’s something I completely agree with, but if you’re going to have a huge thesis, get to the point and only focus on information that pertains to that thesis. And even then, it was still about how other men used her for their political gain and not about how she dealt with the PTSD. Her alcoholism was barely mentioned, just a side mention that she used vodka to cope and moved on immediately.In short, this book was super sucky. And I’m disappointed that this is my first time reading about her.

  • Dolores
    2019-04-13 19:47

    This book is the first to explain how Jackie Kennedy fought posttraumatic stress disorder for thirty-one years. In 1964 there wasn't even a name for what she was enduring....not until 1980 was it included in the American Psychiatric Association's official manual of mental disorders. As time went by she finally got some control over the terrifying memories and, when asked what she considered her greatest achievement, she replied: "I think it is that after going through a rather difficult time, I consider myself comparatively sane. I am proud of that."The first part of the story, covering her rather complicated family, early life, "fairy tale" marriage (with its many problems), and her transformation into a unique First Lady was very interesting. I learned many things I didn't know before, and the whole book was engrossing. I think many people judged her harshly over the years, not understanding the gravity of her condition....I am so glad she was finally able to attain a peaceful and fulfilling life. I recommend this book highly.

  • Shannon
    2019-04-05 22:12

    I can't get this book off my mind. Prior to reading it, I knew two things about Jackie O.: 1. She was married to JFK. 2. She was a fashion icon. I feel slightly embarrassed that that is all I knew about her, but I’m a few too many decades removed from the assassination and I was only 7 when she died. I have no living memory of her or, obviously, JFK. I also grew up in the conservative south. The Kennedy family isn’t worshiped here like it is in New England.With those things said, I found the book mesmerizing. The first half of the book recapped Jackie’s life up until 11/22/63. It was interesting to read about her head debutante days, her schooling, her broken family, and her desire to marry someone adventurous—not boring and predictable. Enter Jack. I guess I knew more about Jackie than the two things listed above. I knew that her husband was a womanizer. I just didn’t realize how much so until reading this book (Mr. President had girls lined up all over the globe). Jackie apparently knew of his philandering but that aspect of their marriage, and really the personal dynamics of their marriage in general, is never explored. Her relationships with RFK, Bob McNamara, and LBJ were more flushed out and detailed than her relationship with her first husband. The book took a dark turn once the assassination occurred in Jackie's young life. Both the assassination and the days following were described in disturbing detail. Putting myself in Jackie’s blood stained shoes both during that time and the decades that followed was a gut wrenching experience as a reader. Barbara Leaming’s main aim, for better or worse, was to highlight the PTSD Jackie experienced the rest of her life (before PTSD was a recognized medical condition), and she did a powerful job of conveying the anguish Jackie went through. I could feel how scared she was for her own life and (somewhat) understand the decisions she made out of self-preservation. I recommend this book if you are interested in a different take on Jackie O, PTSD, or the Kennedys. I’d recommend reading a different biography of Jackie if you don’t know anything about her. Since I didn’t know much going in, this book left me with a rather cold impression of her which I believe is attributable to Leaming’s focus on Jackie’s PTSD. Regardless of that, the book kept me enthralled and gave me historical and psychological perspectives I didn’t have prior to reading.

  • Michelle
    2019-04-23 16:45

    The US changed in an instant when President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) was assassinated on November 22, 1963 in Dallas Texas. Our nation would never be the same, as we deeply mourned the loss of our 35th president. Americans felt sorrow for his widow, yet Jackie wasn't really the focus, until this revelatory new book: "Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story" authored by historian/scholar Barbara Leaming.In 1963 PTSD was simply known as "shell shock", the condition described the minds of returning veterans impacted by the shock, horror/terror of war. In 1980 PTSD was added to the DSM by the American Psychiatric Association. Today, much more is known and recognized about PTSD, Leaming suggests that Jackie was likely affected with the disorder following JFK's assassination. It was unclear how Jackie would ever get past the tragic memory recall of holding JFK's shattered head in her lap. There were no grief counselors available, nor did she visit a therapist. People appointed Jackie as a national heroine, standing vigils in the winter cold. Jackie had no desire to be a public figure, and resented the public praise/attention of her conduct, wishing to be left alone. Traffic and people clogged the streets, tour busses arrived, over 10,000 people visited JFK's grave at Arlington National Cemetery daily.Jackie was counseled/consoled by Father McSorley- (he recorded their talks in his diary, which came to light in 2003 with the publication of another Kennedy book). The magnitude of her grief was profound, she questioned him about suicide, even praising the death of Marilyn Monroe: who escaped her misery. "Was it wrong to pray to die?" she asked. Jackie felt she may have been able to save JFK, if only she had known. No amount of vodka could ease her grief.Unable to participate in the Manchester tape recorded interviews, Bobby usually represented her, at least at first. Jackie had to recall the assassination multiple times over for official interviews. In 1964 she would meet with the Warren Commission for historical documentation, this was a grueling process. The true nature of their marriage, JFK's extramarital affairs, were known only to select insiders. Jackie would protect JFK's sterling public image, she may have felt it was in her best interest to do so. Unflattering things and facts were carefully covered up.Every negative preconceived idea/notion of Jackie being regarded as a reserved uppity snob, caring only about her privacy is challenged. Her 1968 marriage to Aristotle Onassis, the public judgment and harsh criticism must be reconsidered. Barbara Leaming illustrates Jackie's humanity in a way that hasn't been previously considered. This is a meaningful and important book, the story beautifully written like a novel.

  • Linda Lawrance
    2019-03-30 19:48

    The fact that it took me 4 (otherwise very busy) months to finish this book belies my great enjoyment in reading it. One always tends to hesitate to use words like 'enjoy' when the subject matter is as harrowing as this at times was although it is undoubtedly a compelling read. I have always been drawn to Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis; her style, her fame, her mystique and her steadfast commitment to doing things her own way, although I have to admit that I had, over the years, given little thought to the emotions and feelings of this woman. Oh, like countless others I admired her strength at JFK's funeral but I had never until this book, considered her suffering from what we now know as PTSD. Never thought of what it was actually like to be in the midst of the horror and bloodshed of Dallas or of the torment of second guessing her actions, of the "if only's" that would haunt her for decades to come. I never understood her reasoning for going from being Mrs John F Kennedy, beloved and admired widow of the slain president and torch bearer for "Camelot ", to being the virtually despised Mrs Aristotle Onassis. Never considered that her tendency toward reclusiveness could be to avoid triggers for the waking nightmares that were the legacy of Dallas. This is indeed the untold story of Jacqueline, well researched and told with sympathy and although I suspect she would be horrified at the world knowing so much about her, I for one am exceedingly glad that I do and I admire her and feel for her all the more because of it.

  • Wanda
    2019-04-24 21:55

    All her life Jackie had been a very proud woman and believed she should have things exactly as she wanted them. Life promised to be perfect after marrying John F Kennedy as she settled in comfortably with the Kennedy family. But two weeks after the honeymoon, perfection was only a memory. Years later, when Jackie thought about her early-married life, she remembered the velocity above everything else. “Life with him was just so fast.” JFK never stopped moving forward, but was always going on to something higher. And his health issues always shadowed their life. His back problems were very serious and always present, but the president learned to live gracefully with his pain. And then there were his sexual habits. Jackie had been told about this issue before the marriage, but failed to comprehend how serious it really was. Because of this she suffered a great deal of humiliation. Jackie was confronted with the same question over and over during the course of their marriage. “What shall I do?” Jackie grappled with tragedy and unbearable events all through her life and suffered from PTSD. There is a sadness that filters throughout the book as the writer takes us through that horrific day in Dallas, with the assassination of the president, and also his brother’s assassination, RFK, in 1968. It continues on with many more events, including Jackie’s marriage to Aristotle Onassis, and finally ends with her battle with lymphoma and death in 1994. I have always been fascinated with Jacqueline Kennedy and think of her as being the epitome of elegance and grace. She experienced many devastating losses, but somehow always persevered. The author’s style of writing is in great detail – much of it I found interesting, but much that I could’ve done without. But she certainly did her homework – the book was well researched. However, I would have liked more information on the children, Caroline and John, but that part of Jackie’s life was just briefly touched on. I also thought the last number of years in her life were rushed through.But, all in all, this was a very informative read and I highly recommend it. My rating is 4 stars.

  • Dana Burda
    2019-04-21 19:10

    Cartea scriitoarei americane Barbara Leaming, specialistă în scrierea biografiilor personalităților artistice și politice, intitulată atât de sugestiv " Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis / Povestea nespusă" a apărut în anul 2016 la editura Corint / Istorie în traducerea lui Lidia Grădinaru și cu o prefață de istoricul Diana Mandache. Este una dintrea cele mai bune și interesante cărți dedicate soției președintelui J.F.Kenendy, a epocii cuprinse între 1945 și începutul anilor 90, o carte care merită să fie citită atât de iubitorii de istorie cât și de publicul larg. Filmul atât de bine nominalizat la premiile Oscar din februarie 2017 și intitulat " Jackie" are ca bază cartea Barbarei Leaming. Recenzia cărții o puteți găsi pe situl Literatura pe tocuri.

  • Jean Poulos
    2019-04-18 20:03

    This is Barbara Leaming’s third Kennedy biography. The first third of the book recycles considerable material from the first biography minus the dubious theories. Learning’s major fault as a biographer is her tendency to mind read. In this biography learning has considerable documentation from a variety of sources. The author details after the assassination how Bobby Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson sought to comfort her and to use her politically.The main or key thrust of Leaming’s book is her claim that Jackie had PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). She documents the clinical symptoms including flashbacks, insomnia, numbness, avoidance, fear, depression and anger. The author also points out that the condition was not medically recognized until 1980. The author claims Jackie fought her way back to good mental health through her work in publishing and her contributions to land mark preservation. The author documents that Jackie’s Sister Lee Radziwell told that Bobby Kennedy’s assassination triggered a recurrence of the PTSD in Jackie. When the British poet Stephen Spender asked in 1980, about her greatest achievement, she told him, “I think it is that after going through a rather difficult time, I consider myself comparatively sane, I am proud of that.”One of the iconic women of the 20th century, Jackie Kennedy, is such an interesting story and how her life and that of the country was dramatically changed on the terrible day in Dallas. According to the author Jackie spent the rest of her life attempting to heal from that horrific day in Dallas. I read this as an audio book downloaded from Audible. Eliza Foss did a good job narrating the book.

  • Socraticgadfly
    2019-03-26 16:59

    I know that more than a few psychologists and psychiatrists have made a forensic diagnosis of PTSD of Jackie O, and a few writers have discussed it in brief, but, to the best of my knowledge, this is the first book-length treatment of the idea, and a very good one.The book focuses on the period from Jack's death to Bobby's, with some treatment of her marriage to Aristotle Onassis, then a brief wrap-up, and her childhood in front.Several takeaways, related to but not limited to, the PTSD angle:1. Her biological father, Black Jack Bouvier, was just as much a philanderer as JFK, and she knew it, by the time of prep school, even asking him if he'd bedded any of her classmates' moms. So, per the old adage about marriage, that men marry expecting their wives to stay the same and women marry expecting to change their husbands, with a dash of quasi-Freudian thought, did she marry Jack, subconsciously, if not consciously, hoping to "tame" him?2. "Death of a President" author William Manchester apparently had PTSD himself, tho the term was not used at the time, from his WWII experience at Okinawa. (His military medical file mentions "scars on his brain" or similar, per the author.) He had not worked through it until his 1980 memoir, and Leaming makes a good case that, in writing this book, his crafting and narrative focus, and his interviews with Jackie, appear to be subconscious stirrings of his own PTSD.3. Leaming discusses how Jackie also tried to navigate political tugs of war between RFK and LBJ, and how she really kind of liked LBJ, despite some ideas to the contrary.3A. She really leaned on McNamara a lot during these years.Anyway, that's enough of a sketch. It's a good book.

  • Lynn
    2019-03-30 21:02

    This was an interesting account of Jackie Kennedy Onassis' life. It tries to be a serious telling of her life while including many gossipy tidbits that one would find in a trashy biography. The author tires to put JKO's post assassination behavior through a filter of PTSD, either explaining or excusing her life choices with this "diagnosis." Some of it fits, and some of her actions are that of a spoiled, entitled selfish woman, tragedy aside. There are times when you are reading about what JKO went through, and you feel overwhelming compassion; other times you just want to roll your eyes and say "Suck it up, Buttercup!" I'm not sure the author is qualified to diagnose JKO with PTSD, but it makes for an interesting theory and an interesting read; much different from many of the other JKO bios out there. Many things are glossed over in order to keep on track with the PTSD theme. For instance, her kids are hardly mentioned and she is portrayed as a very distant, almost cold mother. Sometimes you wonder where the author comes up with some of her information, but it's all documented in the back. If you like reading about the Kennedys and especially about Jackie, you'll probably like this book. It's an interesting perspective if nothing else.

  • Leonore
    2019-04-18 19:52

    One of the most maddening books and I still wonder why I kept at it. I'll start with the good Is was wonderful to find out that Jackie's aloofness and standofishness was due to PTSD. This should have been recognized much sooner and she should have had the appropriate care sooner. This shoots her up in my respect and we as a country owe her an apology. So for this I thank this book. The only tangential person that was believable was Lyndon Johnson. On the otherhand the writing was abysmal. If I ever here those initials RFK, JFK (the only legitimate one is LBJ) I will scream. The author could not have lived through that time period when Kennedy was shot. No one referred to Bobby and President Kennedy that way. It was so grating on the nerves. Also she went off on tangents that didn't necessarily add a lot to understanding Jackie. It would have been nice to see her as a mother. There were just tiny glimpses. I also blame the author's editor who did an awful job cleaning this up. Don't waste your time reading this even if you are a Jackie fan get the "cliff notes"

  • Erin
    2019-04-05 18:09

    DNF, although I got close (maybe 50 pages or so from the end)This book is, for lack of a better word, thorough. It's also pretty dense writing - long sentences, long paragraphs, lots of details. For me it contained a little too much detail about people along the periphery of Jackie's life and not quite enough about her actual experiences. I think if you were really interested in her connections with others, particularly leading up to and during JFK's presidency, this might be a book you would enjoy.

  • Tracy
    2019-03-29 21:09

    I wasn't alive when Kennedy was assassinated, but I grew up with a copy of a book titled "Four Days," which told the story of the assassination. Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis was at that point considered an international media and fashion icon and was about to transform herself in to a savvy publisher. So like many of my generation, I was sold the myth of Jackie as a courageous woman who held the country together during those terrible days of November 1963 with her brave face and almost regal bearing. But what was really going on behind that black veil? Leaming's thesis focused on Jackie as a victim of PTSD - a disorder that was only formally recognized in the 1980s. And yes, it makes a lot of sense - after all, this was a woman who literally sat next to her husband as he was brutally murdered, who was climbing on a moving car in search of fragments of his brain, was holding his bleeding head and body as he died. Certainly a traumatic experience that is just unimaginable to any of us. Leaming makes a very convincing case that Jackie never fully recovered from Dallas and found triggers all around her. Many of her actions and decisions are fairly typical of PTSD survivors and should be interpreted as such, rather than the popular image of Jackie as a rich, selfish socialite who refused to move on from tragedy. Of course, Jackie's situation brought about very unique pressures, ranging from the political ambitions of the Kennedy family to publishers - and even Jackie's own hand-picked author - wanting to tell the story of Dallas 1963. That said, Leaming also notes that Jackie had certain distinct advantages in her recovery process. I felt that Leaming made her case well and brought a fairly balanced perspective to the book.So why three stars? First, remember that three stars is a solid, good read. Leaming's prose is generally good - but there were some points where her sentences ran on and could have been made more clean and concise by a strong editor (like Jackie?!?!) There are moments when Leaming is working hard to convey emotions and the results just felt a bit melodramatic. The theme of "Jackie's desire to run away" from certain official and social events doesn't fully square with the type of manners that had been most certainly been bred in to this unique woman. The book is also fairly short - Leaming is focusing on her specific hypothesis and the final two chapters - covering nearly 20 years of Jackie's life - are rather short and feel rushed. There is little discussion of the pressures inside the marriage to Onassis, particularly with his children. There are quotes from people who are now dead (including JFK Jr.) and unable to speak for themselves, and one always wonders if the interviewees who conveyed those quotes can be fully trusted.Overall, I enjoyed the book and believe it enhanced my understanding of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Recommended, especially to those with an interest in JBKO and her family.

  • Betty
    2019-04-20 19:52

    I was highly anticipating the receipt of this book. Having worked quite a bit in the field of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) debriefings, I wanted to read about how Jackie Kennedy Onassis dealt with her trauma in a time when PTSD was not even recognized. This book took a totally different slant on her life than any other book written about her.However, I must say that the first 100 pages were so full of detailed minutiae that I found it extremely boring. I probably would not have continued reading the book except that I felt it a duty to write a review since I was given the book by the publishers. I finally just started skimming pages. The parts where Leaming writes about Jackie’s behavior was very interesting. Now that so much is known about PTSD it is clear that Jackie was definitely suffering from it. The book is raw in telling some not very likeable aspects of John and Jackie Kennedy’s personalities. I think much of the minutiae could have been left out. But I did grow to respect her in a way I never had before. She fought a disorder that can be totally devastating and have resulted in many suicides. She had to fight this on her own which takes a lot of strength. I did not find the book at all emotional as some did. I suspect this was because I wasn’t so sure of her love for John. For those who love anything about the Kennedys, you will like it. For others, probably not so much.

  • Susan
    2019-04-10 20:58

    I realize now that I should have read the summary on the back of the book. I picked it up thinking it was just a straight biography of Jackie's life; instead it was more of a look at her reaction to the assassination and the probable PTSD she suffered for the rest of her life. As a result, I didn't learn as much as I wanted about some aspects of her life and it painted a very one-note picture of her personality (a sad, distressed, cold/guarded individual). The book was repetitive enough that I sometimes thought I had mixed up the discs and was re-listening to the same sections. The author was also was too fascinated by some episodes and spent entirely too long on them (the Manchester book controversy, for example). Lastly, I hated the audio book narrator's tone for Jackie's voice. Her reading voice was fine, but she made Jackie's quotes sound breathy, high-pitched and simpering.

  • Morgan McComb
    2019-04-08 20:47

    This book is filled with fresh insight on a woman I once thought I "knew" (for lack of a better word). The facts presented are enlightening and most certainly very interesting; however, my main issue with this book is its redundancy. Quotes the author deems particularly luminary she reinserts throughout the book from start to finish. Certain sentences, particularly in the closing of chapters, are almost identical. Sentences will often span the length of an entire paragraph with the help of superfluous commas, semicolons, etc. Paragraphs are, at times, droning, lengthy, and occasionally difficult to follow. The book is an excellent read for anyone looking to explore beyond the pop culture phenomenon that is Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in attempts to, as much as someone who never personally knew her can, know the woman instead; but the editing of this book leaves much to be desired.

  • Sara Ray
    2019-04-14 21:03

    Most women of my age followed the life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. She was the darling of the media that both celebrated and vilified her. This is the most sympathetic account of Jackie's life that I have ever read. PTSD was not known in 1963. Grief and PTSD are very different. When we realize the trauma Mrs. Kennedy experienced in Dallas, how is it different from that of a soldier who sees a friend's head blown away? Soon after the the second Kennedy assassination of RFK, Jackie married Aristotle Onassis. Was she looking for wealth? The book contends that she was really looking for protection and escape from fear. With the understanding of PTSD that we have today, readers will view Jackie in a much more positive light.

  • Connie
    2019-04-17 14:51

    This book examines the life of Jackie Kennedy in greater detail than most -- and from the premise that, following JFK's assignation, she suffered from PTSD. First through, her pre-Kennedy and pre-assignation years are examined. The author details the relentless attention from the public and the relentless pull on her from others that kept her in turmoil. However, I found it odd (to say the least) that her children receive scant attention until the very end of the book. I felt any indepth analysis of her life and her battle with PTSD (at that time an unrecognized illness) fall short when her relationship with her children is ignored.

  • Theresaharris
    2019-04-12 20:01

    The story begins with much ado about nothing...not that Jackie was nothing; it's the author's presentation of trivial and vacuous details surrounding her vigorous pursuit of marriage to JFK. So many times I wondered if I could finish it... Perhaps better editing would have made the first part of the book more palatable. The Untold Story includes personal characteristics of the subjects that perhaps should have remained untold? It seems as though Americans have idolized a cast of obsessive and cunning fakes. Both Jacqueline and especially John F. Kennedy, viewed people as chess pieces to be controlled and manipulate.

  • Karen
    2019-03-30 15:49

    If you are a fan of the Kennedy's, and want to learn this author's views on Jackie's actions following the assassination of her husband, this book is for you. The author gives an interesting reassessment of Jackie's life. She attributes PTSD to Jackie's 31 year struggle to maintain control of her life, in a world that scrutinized her every move. In the book the author takes us through Jackie's life--from being idolized, scrutinized and finally empowered.

  • Karen Miles
    2019-04-05 20:10

    I have always wanted to find out more information about the Kennedys as they fascinate me as being seen as "royalty" in the United States. After reading this book, my knowledge of the Kennedys grew but not in ways that I expected. I was surprised to find out that the Kennedys were not the "role models" I had erroneously thought they were to be in the 1960s.

  • Jen
    2019-03-24 20:05

    An intense, yet compassionate biography of the former First Lady. The author wrote in the context of Jackie's suffering from PTSD (although not medically recognized until 1980) after witnessing JFK's assassination, and how she struggled to put her life back together. An insightful read!

  • Skyqueen
    2019-03-28 19:45

    First, let me say this is not a tell all to end all book. It is not gossipy at all, and you will need to read other accounts to get the nitty gritty on Jackie's affairs, children, and further depth of family goings on of her within the Kennedy tribe and with her sister, Lee. Leaming sticks very closely to her premise of The Untold Story, which is to set forth the evidence that, Yes, Jackie did indeed suffer very traumatically; emotionally, psychologically, and physiologically. There was surprising detail of her rotely retelling and retelling and retelling of the shooting in graphic detail to anyone and everyone who would listen. A definite clue that she was in total shock and in detached survival mode early on and for an extended period. Of course, when she finally did start going through the stages of grief and recovery, she hit all the markers.Leaming goes into a lot of detail regarding the political surroundings before and after the assassination. I'm not sure it was necessary but certainly explained why some men, LBJ and even Bobby, took advantage of her for political advancement. Leaming only touches on the highlights in many of the otherwise big stories of Jackie's life. Caroline and John Jr. are only mentioned a handful of times. All of her romantic men friends are only outlined or not mentioned at all. Even Onassis is more or less only outlined, as well as Jackie's interaction with his family. Overall a lot is left unsaid, such as, did she have an affair with Robert McNamara though it is definitely alluded to? The rumor of her having one with Robert Kennedy is more or less debunked, but widely reported as fact elsewhere. What Leaming did concentrate on was Jackie's early life, which I feel was a direct cause of some of the choices she made early and then later on. She seemed to consciously make choices of men who were rogue, womanizing, risk-takers like her father, Black Jack Bouvier, named so because of his perpetual tan. She also gravitated to Old Joe, Jack's father, as well as idolized JFK though knowing full well of his constant transgressions from the very beginning, so great was her desire to have what he represented and appeared to be able to give her, money and prestige. To my mind, Jackie is an INFP or INFJ temperment. To that end, she did not seem to deal with reality very well or make the necessary logical choices to be able to function, of her being constantly on the move and not settled down, and not logically thinking things through. It probably did not help that she was somewhat insulated by her rich and connected friends who may have spared her facing hard truths. Certainly, the press and photographers did not leave her alone. At one point, I said, When will it end, meaning their dogged pursuit of her. Granted, at the time, not recognizing the disorder, also played a large part of it taking her 30+ years to finally be able to manage somewhat effectively. Although, she never completely recovered.In her defense, not many people in the US (but certainly in war torn countries) will experience the depth and breadth of her trauma. Perhaps veterans being the most readily available comparison. But many of us will experience PTSD on some level and be able to relate. Even in describing the disorder Leaming is short. The prevailing feelings are of being out of control and fear. Of not feeling safe. Leaming does not surmise and leaves unsaid to what extent drugs, psychotherapy, and serial relationships play in Jackie's attempt to find comfort, sanity, and protection. Surprising was the fact that even with Onassis' money, protection was not absolute even in basic ways. It seems she was self-absorbed and absent a large portion from her children. Again, Leaming does not speculate what damage that could have done to their development. Only relating that John Jr. was protective of his mom. Perhaps Leaming did not want to delve too deeply as Caroline has no doubt dealt with her own trauma.Leaming also does not judge that Jackie in many cases was 'the other woman'. Nor do I remember that label being dwelt upon in other publications. Just that a lot of the men were still married or in other relationships. Nor does Leaming state, even if she discovered, what Jackie thought of herself being identified as such. More than likely, it did not cross Jackie's mind, as she was in such dire need and did not fathom herself as being the man's conscience. (I'm reminded of an Oprah show which interviewed the other woman, who said the wives did not cross their minds and it was not done against them.) And what man can resist a beautiful damsel in distress. Especially such a famous one. It is their most basic motivation. Finally, Jackie did come to the realization that she must help herself and could not depend on men to save her, nor her status or access to seemingly unlimited resources which both seemed to be an early desire on her part along with an adventurous, non-plain, unpredictable life. To that I would say, Be careful what you wish for. A lot of details and questions were left somewhat hanging. The most glaring of whether Jackie would have been able to survive if John Jr. had perished before her.

  • Nayaab Khan
    2019-03-24 16:06

    After reading this amazing book, I've become an avid fan of Jackie O. If you're an amateur in regards to Jackie, you'll learn absolutely everything there is to know in this amazing book. LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

  • Adonica
    2019-04-01 19:10

    A lot of insight to her struggles...

  • Vikki
    2019-04-21 21:55

    I was totally fascinated with this book. What a life, and certainly not an easy one. It told of her growing up until her death. Things I found interesting was what made Jackie - Jackie. She was an intellect. She started smoking at age fifteen. When asked what her greatest accomplishment was, she said that it was surviving after a traumatic incident. She learned how to deal with post traumatic stress syndrome. When talking with Arthur Schlesinger after her cancer diagnosis, she said "I feel it is kind of hubris. I have always been proud of keeping so fit. I swim, and I jog, and I do push-ups, and walk around the reservoir ...and now this suddenly happens." And as she spoke of all this she laughed - not in acknowledgement of the futility of her efforts, but also of the hubris (Jackie specifically used the word hubris,ancient Greek word for excessive pride.) She had been guilty in believing she had more control over her destiny than she actually did. At her funeral there was no mention of her marriage to Onassis. Loved this book, love this author.