Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
It's time for The Cephalopod Coffeehouse, hosted by The Armchair Squid.
The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same. In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.
To join the blog hop or to see the list of other participants, please visit The Armchair Squid.
My book choice for December is Once Upon a Secret: My Affair With President John F. Kennedy And Its Aftermath by Mimi Alford.
I doubt if it comes as much of a surprise that President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky were not the first Commander in Chief and White House intern to become "involved." However, when President Kennedy deflowered young Mimi, she managed to keep it a secret for many years:
In the summer of 1962, I was nineteen years old, working as an intern in the White House press office. During that summer, and for the next year and a half, until his tragic death in November 1963, I had an intimate, prolonged relationship with President John F. Kennedy.
I kept this secret with near-religious discipline for more than forty years, confiding only in a handful of people, including my first husband. I never told my parents, or my children. I assumed it would stay my secret until I died.
During 2003, an oral history at the Kennedy Presidential Library was unsealed, along with other documents. The oral history revealed some of the affairs the president had. Although Mimi Beardsley's name wasn't mentioned, it didn't take long for members of the press to figure out who she was. Then they stalked her.
Marion "Mimi" Beardsley Fahnestock Alford decided to tell the truth when asked point blank if she was the intern who was intimate with President John Kennedy. Then she wrote a book to explain their complicated relationship.
I like this book, in spite of its rather salacious nature, because of the parallels to Clinton and Lewinsky, and because of the details Alford provides about the president's extracurricular activities. Jackie Kennedy would leave the White House with the children, and the inmates took over the asylum.
Only a few days after Alford began her internship, President Kennedy himself served as her tour guide around the White House family quarters. The tour included Kennedy pushing Alford onto a bed and taking her virginity. Alford also describes JFK's now well-known skinny dipping pool parties, and the pressure he put on her to provide oral sex to one of his friends--in his presence.
This information makes me wonder more than ever about the characters of the men we've elected to the highest office in the United States. Alford's affair with the president cast a shadow on her first marriage, which ended very unhappily.
Mimi Alford's story is not a pretty one, but she wanted to tell her side of the story, and to set some facts straight. Her book is well written.
Once Upon a Secret earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Approval.
I saw her being interviewed on TV a while back and she seemed very genuine. I'd love to read her book. Seems like so many men in positions of power or any type of adoration can have that go to their heads...or should I say groins. Politicians, athletes, CEOs, musicians, actors, police, priests...you name it. Seems like that hasn't changed for thousands of years.ReplyDelete
I saw her on TV, too. I agree that she seemed genuine. I think she's disappointed that the world found out what happened, and she wanted to set the record straight.Delete
That was it - no bubbles to burst. Have there ever been any honest people in this government? Maybe I should ask - ones who can keep their body parts to themselves and spouses? Nah.ReplyDelete
I glad she penned her own story! At one time it might have been one I'd read. Then again - who knows - I might change my mind.(smile).
I hope we have some honest people in government. I am dismayed by people--men or women--who can't keep their pants on. I have never heard accusations of affairs by Bush 41 or Bush 43 or President Obama. I hope it stays that way.Delete
Janie, an intriguing book for sure. There is something about achieving a position of power that makes people crazy for controlling others. Good for her for coming out with the story and reaping some benefit for her innocence as an intern in the process.ReplyDelete
She doesn't seem to harbor any hatred for Kennedy. I think I would.Delete
That sounds intriguing. I have no qualms about presidents having sex. When they cheat on their wives it makes me unhappy, but I don't really make a big deal of it. What your describing here makes me think "Okay buddy, how about you start working on actually running the country?"ReplyDelete
Kennedy's liaisons are legendary. I don't know how the man had time to work.Delete
Sounds like a good read.ReplyDelete
Yikes! What you're describing sounds less like "an affair" and more like sexual assault. I agree that men in power too often abuse that power by misbehaving with women.ReplyDelete
She doesn't seem to see it as assault, but for heaven's sake, she was nineteen years old. I wasn't terribly mature at nineteen. That's when I decided to get married.Delete
I'm not so sure any world leader keeps it in his pants 24/7. God knows there were millions of women who'da thrown themselves at JFK. (and did, most likely!)ReplyDelete
I'm not a biography reader, but this one sounds good. Thanks for sharing!
It's not something I will probably read, but it sounds interesting.ReplyDelete
Yes, it's interesting, but I know it's not everyone's cup of tea.Delete
Sorry to be late in making the rounds...ReplyDelete
Sounds juicy! I think most politicians are people I wouldn't want to know personally. You have to wonder about anyone who would actually want the job of President of the USA...
I would bet extramarital affairs at the White House are more the rule than the exception, too.