Jackie Kennedy cannot comment on her recently released interviews but it is so very important to remember the context surrounding them
She was young and recently widowed and grew up in a different era…she was a breath of fresh air after Mamie Eisenhower.
Most of our idols have flaws. But in a family that has ruthlessly guarded the images of President Kennedy and his wife and presented them both as admirable and heroic, it is significant and commendable that Caroline Kennedy would allow the release of these interviews, showing a fuller, more complex, sometimes disconcerting, even disappointing picture of her mother. The subject herself, who died in 1994, was famously controlling of her public image, instructing in her will that her children “make every effort to prevent publication of her personal papers, letters and writings,” according to her daughter’s thoughtful forward to the book. These particular interviews were always going to be made public eventually, but Caroline Kennedy’s decision to publish them as part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of JFK’s presidency was a brave one. At a time when there could have been only hagiographic reminiscences, this is a compelling and necessary contribution to a fuller portrait of the Kennedy years.