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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Jack: A Life Like No Other

Jack: A Life Like No Other by Geoffrey Perret.

Publisher: Random House (2001)
ISBN-10: 037576125X (400 pgs)


Jack is both the first comprehensive one-volume biography of JFK and the first account of his life based on the extensive documentary record that has finally become available, including personal diaries, taped conversations from the White House, recently declassified government documents, extensive family correspondence, and crucial interviews sealed for nearly forty years. Jack provides a much-needed perspective on Kennedy's bewilderingly complex personality, presents a compelling account of the volatile relationship between Jack and Jackie (including her attempt to divorce him, move to Hollywood, and become a film star), and reveals how JFK forged the modern political campaign and, once in the White House, modernized the presidency. Jack: A Life Like No Other is a book like no other. Here, at last, John F. Kennedy seems to step off the page in all his vitality, charm, and originality.

I thought that since this month is the 50th Anniversary of JFK’s assassination I would read a book about him.  As with most traumatic things in ones life I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news that Kennedy was assassinated.  I was deeply saddened.  For reasons I don’t even know (since I’ve never been very political) I did really like JFK.  I”m sure the whole “Camelot” thing helped it along.  And when he gave the word to put an American on the moon.. he sealed the deal as far as I was concerned.

I also remember the Cuban Crises.  My brother was in the  Air Force during that time and you could cut the tension with a knife! 

This book gives a good, but brief, telling of Jack Kennedy’s life.  From the beginning when he realized none of the siblings matter except for the first born, John to having a father even he did not want to be like.

It tells of how his father basically paid to get JFK nominated, but from then on Jack knew he had different ideas then “daddy dearest”.

I learned a number of things from this book that I did not know.  Not many were very nice things, but they were what made up Jack Kennedy.  There was one sentence that told it as I was thinking at times: He had a privileged life that no sensible person would want.   It pretty much echoed the “poor little rich boy” concept, which in his case is taken both as a snide remark… and as the truth. For as we all know, money cannot by health.  And JFK had bad health all his life. Most prominent was his bad back. He had 3 operations and after was forever on pain drugs.  Right up to the end of his life he was wearing a full back brace, and it was said, had he lived and had a second term her would have wound up in a wheel chair as did Roosevelt.  To top off all his health problems he also had Addison’s Disease.  I know money helps pay for the best care..but it does not give you back good health.

  He was rich..and he was a womanizer..and he was many things but he was still a damn good President.  To this day I find myself wondering what more he would have done had he lived and had a second term.   And I will always be glad that we went to the moon.  Something we should have done again later in years…but that’s just my opinion.

This was a very well written book.  Only once chapter closer to the end I could have done without, since all his “bad points” were mentioned along the way I didn’t need them angrily listed.  Maybe they weren’t but it seemed that way.

The ending, which we all know how it ends, was short and not gone into detail, as there are many  books that theorize the circumstances.  But the author did feel it was a “one man job”, but we will never know …even if the government knows..WE will never know.

Bottom line.. I liked the book.   Like anyone, I dislike his bad points but really liked his good points and I think he did well as President.


Blogger Cath said...

I'm glad you liked this one, Pat. I was at a kid's birthday party the day he died, I was 10 and I remember to this day one of the parents coming into the room and saying that President Kennedy had been shot. I too wonder how the world would look today if it had not happened. I didn't know that about his ill health. I plan to get to this one next year.

6:18 PM  
Blogger OldLady Of The Hills said...

I am not familiar with this particular book, but considering there are over 1000 books that have been about written Kennedy---Well, it's hard to know them all.
PBS just had a four hour in-depth look at Jack Kennedy's life and Presidency. It was very very interesting, and was certainly critical of him in many ways but also very respectful of him, too, and his accomplishments.....It was not gossipy yet certainly dealt with his womanizing and the effect it had on Jacquie....I have NEVER read or heard anything about her wanting to go to Hollywood....And I don't believe that. There has been so much trash written about the Kennedy's, including Jacquie----all I know is, considering the incredible Public Life they led, it says something that both Kennedy children--John & Caroline lived an exemplery life.
The four hour documentary on PBS covered Jack Kennedy's Health in depth, too...And I had not realized that he lived with so much pain. It was amazing he was able to function as well as he did.
I often wonder what would have happened had he NOT been killed. We will never know, but I think the world as we knew it, after that, would have been very very different, had he lived. I think he was a very good President, too, and what they, as a family, brought to the White House and to the Nation was a youthful vitality and an excitement---including great hopes for the future of our country---And the emphasis on "The Arts" was stunning! Having young people in the White House felt marvelous! Also, he had a great sense of humor and I loved that he was the first President tohave Press Conferences that were off the cuff! That had never been done before.

3:20 AM  

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