Review

America's Queen: The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

by Sarah Bradford



Thank God I got to read this over the Christmas holiday! Otherwise,
there is no way I would have been able to keep up my usual work
activities and stay immersed in this fascinating and most detailed
new biography of the inimitable Jackie O, AMERICA'S QUEEN: The Life
of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Sarah Bradford. It is immensely
readable and doesn't exactly sugarcoat a lot of the myths that we
already know about our American queen.

From birth to death and with all the adventures and travails
in-between, Jackie's life reads like a daytime soap. But the
smiling face of her young self on the back cover makes this a
particularly painful story as well --- privilege and money can't
save you from your destiny, and as Bradford so nicely puts
together, Jackie was no different from any of us in that respect.
AMERICA'S QUEEN really brings home the inequities and complexities
of a life lived in the public eye for almost all of its 60-plus
years.

Sure, we know all we want to know about how she survived Jack's
cheating, wrestled with her conscience in raising her children
apart from the Kennedy clan, worked in publishing when it was not
exactly the planned path for a member of American royalty. She did
everything in her sly way, got what she wanted with a twinkle in
her eyes, but suffered the slings and arrows of her life the same
way we all do. Bradford has the uncanny ability to write about
things that could cause her family embarrassment even at this late
date in such a fashion that you feel like you are getting firsthand
news from a sincerely supportive friend --- this doesn't feel like
gossip, although it certainly could be classified as such. With so
many stories and quotes from friends and foes alike, it makes for
an evenhanded and well-researched book.

AMERICA'S QUEEN: The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Sarah
Bradford answers some of the many questions about why the world has
always been fascinated by this woman. It is a great read, a nice
long snowed-in weekend read (to which I can heartily attest), and
will be sure to delight anybody whose appetite for biographies is
dire and sharp.

Reviewed by Jana Siciliano on January 20, 2011

America's Queen: The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
by Sarah Bradford

  • Publication Date: October 1, 2001
  • Genres: Biography, Nonfiction
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
  • ISBN-10: 0141002204
  • ISBN-13: 9780141002200