—New York Times Book Review
Video: A Conversation with Paul De Angelis
In the weeks and months following the assassination of her husband, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy received over one million letters. They came from political luminaries such as Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Charles De Gaulle; from Hollywood stars like Lauren Bacall, Vivian Leigh, and Gene Kelly and foreign dignitaries like Queen Elizabeth and the Prince of Monaco. Distinguished artists, writers, and well known society figures—Ezra Pound, Noel Coward, Babe Paley, Langston Hughes, Oleg Cassini, Josephine Baker—offered heartfelt condolences. “Ordinary” citizens of this country and many others wrote as well, as did children, often with the most heartbreaking sincerity.
Dear Mrs. Kennedy: More Than Just
a Compendium of Letters
Dear Mrs. Kennedy uses these many voices to tell the unforgettable story of those fateful four days when the world was struck with shock and sadness, presenting a poignant time capsule and a diverse portrait not only of the aftermath of the assassination, but of the Kennedy mystique that continues to captivate the world.
During a decade of writing and publishing books about the Kennedy family, Jay Mulvaney became acquainted with the collection of condolence mail held in the JFK Library in Boston. In 2007 he had the idea to bring together a selection of the very best of these letters into a book that would illuminate both Jack and Jacqueline Kennedy. In a cruel twist of fate, Jay himself died unexpectedly shortly after signing up the book and completing an initial selection of several thousand letters. Experienced writer and book editor Paul De Angelis then took over the task of bringing Jay’s project to fruition. The book is being published by St. Martin’s Press on October 12, 2010 (hardcover, $19.99).