Friday, September 16, 2011

A Fascinating Oral History: Jacqueline Kennedy In Her Own Words

Today on Hulu I watched the ABC Special with Diane Sawyer about the oral history and subsequent book, Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy
It was completely fascinating to me! I never had any real impression of her at all before, other than as a fashionable first lady. But this interview is so revealing about her personality, her feelings, and how smart she really've gotta watch it if you like history and biographies.
Her understanding of history and what it would take to preserve those moments in time that she witnessed just blows me away. Especially when you consider the fact that she does these interviews just months after the tragic assassination of her husband. I can't imagine what it took for her to be able to do that under such incomprehensible hardship and loss. I always admired her presence of mind to look back to history and take note of Lincoln's funeral and proceedings for President Kennedy's own arrangements. And now after seeing the tv special I look forward to reading the book of the full interviews and learning more about her. I never realized how much of a reader she was, and how her translations and readings of various history books were so primary to her relationship with Jack, nor did I ever know how shy and private a person she had been. It's making her a very easy historical figure to relate to, and now I'm curious to learn more.  
The documentary and book The Fog of War were awesome looks into the period as well, so I highly recommend them if you're interested.

At the very least watch the doc, because Robert McNamara is completely engaging and the Errol Morris film actually won the 2003 Academy Award for Best Feature-Length documentary.

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