Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of John F. Kennedy


This seemed fitting to review today, on Election Day (you did go vote, didn’t you?). As you know, I adooooored the Jacqueline Kennedy interviews that were released last fall, and highly recommend them to anyone who is even remotely interested in history, politics, the 60’s, or the Kennedys. They were very well done and there were only a few times when I needed to rewind (or refer to the transcripts) to catch a word (they were, after all, recorded on machinery from the 1960’s). Unfortunately this book is not up to par. Though the recordings are interesting, they needn’t have included the CDs, many of the most interesting conversations are unlistenable. (Is that a word? I just made it one.) You’ll need to refer to the transcripts almost the entire time, which means listening in the car is almost useless. Though fascinating (when you can hear them), these recordings are available for free via the John F. Kennedy library, so if your library gets this one in, I’d recommend borrowing rather than buying.

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