You may have seen news reports about the book, drawing on previously unreleased interviews with Jackie in 1964. Here is the full announcement:
Hyperion today announced plans to publish an historic new book based upon never-before-disclosed interviews with Jacqueline Kennedy. The book is scheduled for publication in September 2011.
Conducted in the spring of 1964 and intended for deposit at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum—not yet in existence at the time—Mrs. Kennedy’s conversations with historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. were part of a wide-ranging oral history project that captured the recollections and reflections of those close to President Kennedy shortly after his death. The seven interviews have remained strictly sealed since then in accordance with Mrs. Kennedy’s wishes.
Now, in connection with the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Administration, in association with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Mrs. Kennedy’s family plans to make available both the interview transcripts and the 6.5 hours of audio recordings of those interviews. The book will be edited and introduced by Caroline Kennedy, and will also include historical annotations and contextual explanations provided by a respected historian.
The interviews cover a wide range of subjects from John F. Kennedy’s early campaigns to the Cuban Missile Crisis, including Mrs. Kennedy’s evolving sense of herself and her role as First Lady; family and married life in the White House; and President Kennedy’s plans for a second term. In these conversations, Mrs. Kennedy shares revealing insights into the politics and personalities of the day.
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The announcement of the new book was made by Ellen Archer, President and Publisher of Hyperion. Of the deal, Archer said: “We are truly honored to publish a project of such historical significance. These interviews offer a remarkable window into the intelligent, courageous and keen observer that Jacqueline Kennedy was. Readers will be riveted.”
Executive Editor Gretchen Young, Caroline Kennedy’s longtime editor, negotiated the deal with Robert B. Barnett of Williams and Connolly, and will edit the book. Hyperion acquired world rights, e-book, audio and first serial. Proceeds from the book will be shared with the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.
"My mother's passion for history guided and informed her work in the White House," said Caroline Kennedy, president of the Kennedy Library Foundation. "She believed in my father, his vision for America, and in the art of politics. She felt it was important to share her knowledge and excitement with future generations. It is a privilege for me to honor the memory of my parents by making this unique history available.”
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library’s Oral History Project is one of the institution’s oldest continuing activities. The program was started by close associates of the President shortly after his death in an effort to capture recent, vivid memories of those who knew him. Beginning in the spring of 1964, hundreds of oral history interviews were conducted with a variety of individuals including Robert Kennedy and Eunice Kennedy Shriver and R. Sargent Shriver, Theodore Sorensen, Robert McNamara, McGeorge Bundy, President Gerald Ford, and Lady Bird Johnson.
Mrs. Kennedy’s interviews are part of the Jacqueline Kennedy Collection housed at the Kennedy Library. During this anniversary period, additional material is being donated by Caroline Kennedy and will be processed and opened to the public. The collection includes memos and correspondence from the White House relating to Mrs. Kennedy’s White House restoration project, White House entertaining, travels abroad, relationship with the press, and historic preservation. The collection also includes clothing, jewelry, scrapbooks, and photographs.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s administration, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Foundation are collaborating with organizations across the country in an effort to remind a new generation of Americans of the ideals that President Kennedy embraced: the responsibilities of citizenship; the importance of public service; a belief in democracy, civil rights, and the pursuit of social justice; and the value of civil political debate. The publication of the never-before-released interviews with Jacqueline Kennedy is central to the efforts surrounding the 50th anniversary.