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Picks and Pans Review: Camelot Memories

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>Sealed for decades, Jacqueline Kennedy’s revealing 1964 interviews with historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. are now available in a book and accompanying CDs. Among the highlights:

WOMAN BEHIND THE MAN

Jackie saw her role as “making it always a climate of affection and comfort and détente when [Jack] came home … good food and the children in good moods.”

KEEPING THE PEACE

If there was marital discord, “I’d rush and say … ‘I’m so sorry.’ He loved that, because it’s hard for men to make up first.”

TOUGH CRITIC

After Jackie heard talk that Martin Luther King Jr. had once arranged for an orgy and had “made fun of Cardinal Cushing” at JFK’s funeral, she said, “I just can’t see a picture without thinking, you know, that man’s terrible.”

THOUGHTS ON LBJ

JFK told Jackie, “Oh God, can you ever imagine what would happen to the country if Lyndon were President?”

MORNINGS AT THE WHITE HOUSE

The kids would play and watch TV while JFK read briefings in his underwear. “There was this awful exercise man, Jack LaLanne, and he’d be telling John and Caroline to do whatever they were doing … [Jack] loved those children tumbling around.”

BEDTIME STORIES

The President liked inventing them, but one day he asked Jackie to buy him some books, saying, “I’m running out of children’s stories. I just told Caroline how she and I shot down three Jap fighter planes!”

THE FEMALE VOTE

Jackie thought women who preferred JFK’s onetime rival Adlai Stevenson were “scared of sex … these sort of twisted poor little women whose lives hadn’t worked out…. Jack made them nervous.”

HAPPY TOGETHER

She worried about the White House fishbowl, but “it was really the happiest time of my life.”