My Twelve Years with John F. Kennedy
About the Book
An up-close-and-personal biography of John F. Kennedy, the president who still captures the hearts of many Americans, as well as people around the world. Written by the woman who was his personal secretary for 12 years, it was the first biography of President Kennedy to come out of the White House after his death, and has been used as source material by many other biographers who followed.
The 400-page book's writing style is casual and personal, but does not pretend to be an expose, a psychoanalysis, or an interpretation of why JFK acted on any issue. This is a record of what Evelyn Lincoln saw and heard in a dozen years with JFK, but those seeking details of his sex life should look elsewhere. Her characterization of him is detailed and clear, and though she greatly admired the man, her descriptions of his flaws are quite unhesitating.
Included is every facet of the Kennedy Administration, such as his two major spinal surgeries, each of which nearly killed him; his battle with Addison's disease, which he concealed for fear its disclosure would destroy his political career; his free-wheeling dating of the capital's young women until he met Jackie; the 1956 Democratic convention which nearly named him its vice-presidential candidate and would thus have destroyed his presidential hopes; the 1960 campaign and how he beat all the odds and the political experts by winning; his naming of several prominent Republicans to cabinet posts in his administration, further angering traditional liberals who already disliked him; how he ran the White House by never holding a staff meeting; his handling of the steel industry confrontation, the racial crisis at the University of Mississippi, and the Cuban Missile Crisis; and the tears of grief he shed over the death of his infant son, Patrick.