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Camera Girl, Carl S Anthony


I’m not all things Kennedy when a book is released, but this one was of interest... what made the extremely private Jackie Bouvier tick in her early years before meeting JFK... years 1949-1953. Her father loved her too much and her mother not enough. She left to go to France, then traveled to Europe to learn more about herself and break free from the emotional machinations of her parents. Her relationship with her father, Black Jack, and mother, Janet were complex, to say the least. Her mother was adamant that no one would marry an intellectual woman… to Jackie, “conceal how bright you are”. Her Mom provided constant criticism of Jackie. When Jackie won the Vogue Prix de Paris, her mother opposed Jackie working for Vogue in Paris and forced her to reject the prize. The book goes through Jackie’s engagement to John Husted. Meanwhile, the perseverance of JFK can be seen throughout his thirties. His ambition was endless, as well as Jackie, and that curiosity for the world and intellect brought them together. JFK was not the courting type though. After they were introduced and sort of dating, he wouldn’t call her for weeks while campaigning, nor write love letters or letters of any kind, was non-attentive, He wanted to remain a bachelor in public life to keep his appeal to single women voters. She remarked that the family at that time spoke of her more as a thing, like an asset, as opposed to a real person. Jackie charmed Joe Kennedy, which in the end was the tipping point. JFK needed a wife considering he was now a Senator. They used each other for their purpose and ambitions. Jack becoming President was the goal and deal for the both of them, and both led extremely independent lives. Jackie did not want to be doomed to a shallow social world or suburban life without adventure. JFK provided her with adventure. One of the more interesting areas was Jackie’s influence and overall write-up of the Vietnam report JFK was touting in Congress. They wrote the report together and her vast influence on how JFK handled the whole Vietnam independence and French involvement in Vietnam was evident. Her ambition is the main hook – the Inquiring Camera Girl for the Washington Times-Herald, a job she loved and left after marrying JFK. Her compelling questions to members of the public on the streets of DC, her columns, and her gumption - illuminating. It’s easy to see why almost everyone who knew her, fell for her style, grace, curiosity, and intellect.

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