Why We Love Jackie O


The tapes of Jackie O’s interview with Arthur Schlesinger, four months after her husband’s assassination were not supposed to be released until fifty years after her death. Her daughter Caroline Kennedy ended up releasing them early (the result of an ABC deal) and released them in a book, co-authored with the historian Michael Beschloss. Why are there those who idolize Jackie O and those that dismiss her role as a Stepford wife-like First Lady? Here’s why we should appreciate her, as told by Laurie Fendrich.

“I agree that Jackie didn’t do anything in the way women now do things. Yet it was no small feat that she introduced to Americans, and the world, the idea that an American could be cultured—could behave with decorum in public, speak foreign languages, love books (in particular, Jackie loved reading history), and love and promote art and music. At the time, who woulda thunk it? (Who would think it today?)”

Sam Riley is an adult who works at McSweeney's. More from this author →