Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy - Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Caroline Kennedy, Michael R. Beschloss Whatever you may think of Jack's politics or his performance as president, you have to marvel at his mastery of personal interaction.Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. was a devoted historian with a specific agenda for these interviews. He was the orchestrator, with a list of questions to which he doggedly adhered. He wanted to know what Jack thought of this or that politician, how Jack felt during certain crises such as Cuba One and Cuba Two, and generally what life was like in the White House for the Kennedy family. Throughout most of the interviews Jacqueline appears not to know or remember much, and requires rather a lot of prompting from Schlesinger. She would never dream of maligning her husband or sullying his memory, so don't expect any dishy stuff about their private life. If you didn't already know about JFK's dalliance with Marilyn Monroe, and the storied infidelity of the Kennedy men, these interviews might leave you with an impression of a perfect marriage to Saint Jack the Magnificent. What does emerge from the banter between Schlesinger and Jackie is a picture of a complex, charismatic, brilliant man with a relentless will to serve his country, despite severely debilitating physical pain of which most people were unaware. He was a man who read voraciously, adored his children, and was capable of making anyone feel like they were the only person in the world who mattered in the moment when he shined his light upon them. You may balk at Jacqueline's views of what a proper wife should be, and of the role of women in general, such as when she asserts, "I think women should never be in politics. We're just not suited to it." Shocking to our 21st-Century ears, but entirely appropriate to her generation. I did listen to all of the interviews while reading along in the book. Unless you have a strong attachment to Jackie's voice, I suggest you skip the recordings and just read the book. It's a direct transcript of the interviews, with a wealth of footnotes explaining events discussed and key players mentioned in passing. Without the book, you'll be lost in the sea of namedropping unless you're a serious scholar of the Kennedy era.