Friday, February 28, 2020

Jackie as Editor: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Greg Lawrence


I've always admired Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis for her sense of style and also as our nation's First Lady. 

I came across Jackie as Editor: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Greg Lawrence several years ago online. I was intrigued by the summary for this nonfiction book about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis's life as editor as I didn't know that much about this particular aspect of her life. 

Since I already love reading and books (especially books that also talk about books) and have always been fascinated by the iconic life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, I figured why not buy and read this book to learn more about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and her life as editor? I purchased Jackie as Editor: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Greg Lawrence prior to May 2014 where it has sat in my 'tbr' pile until now. 

I decided Jackie as Editor: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis would make a great, early read for Women's History Month and I wasn't wrong!!

I actually liked Jackie as Editor: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Greg Lawrence a lot more than I thought I would! Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis worked the last 19 years of her life as an editor. She started out at Viking and then ended up at Doubleday for the majority of her editing career.

I thought that Greg Lawrence gave a thorough and comprehensive account of Jackie's life as an editor. He not only writes a bit about Jackie's personal life, but he also discusses her love of reading and books, and most importantly Jackie's role as editor in great detail. Jackie was very passionate about the books she edited and very involved in working closely with the authors that she did over the years as editor for both publishing houses. As readers, we are given in depth insight to the books themselves that Jackie helped edit, how she came across the books she edited, and what it was like having Jackie as editor from the authors themselves.

From reading Jackie as Editor: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, it sounds like Jackie was a warm and unpretentious person in real life. It sounds like she also had a wonderful sense of humor.

I also definitely had the sense from reading this book that Jackie became an editor to have an avocation other than simply being a socialite/former first lady after the deaths of both of her husbands. She obviously didn't need a career to pay the bills as she had plenty of money. I get the sense that she became an editor due to her passion and love for reading and books. Jackie was smart, educated, sophisticated, savvy, and well connected... All stellar qualities that I'm sure helped her succeed as an editor.


Jackie as Editor: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Greg Lawrence is a really great read and gives readers a unique insight into the publishing world and a snapshot into one area of Jackie's life.

P. S. As an additional side note, there is a section at the end of Jackie as Editor: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis titled, Books Published By Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, which lists all the book titles Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis helped to edit during her career. The list is a long one. Many of the books sound like phenomenal ones to read. Perhaps one day, I can set a goal for myself to read all of the books listed in this section! In the meantime, I'll simply be contented to read the many unread books in my personal collection.

The following is a summary for Jackie as Editor: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Greg Lawrence from Amazon:
History remembers Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis as the consummate first lady, the nation’s tragic widow, the millionaire’s wife, and, of course, the quintessential embodiment of elegance. Her biographers, however, skip over an equally important stage in her life: her nearly twenty year long career as a book editor. Jackie as Editor is the first book to focus exclusively on this remarkable woman’s editorial career.

At the age of forty-six, one of the most famous women in the world went to work for the first time in twenty-two years. Greg Lawrence, who had three of his books edited by Jackie, draws from interviews with more than 125 of her former collaborators and acquaintances in the publishing world to examine one of the twentieth century's most enduring subjects of fascination through a new angle: her previously untouted skill in the career she chose. Over the last third of her life, Jackie would master a new industry, weather a very public professional scandal, and shepherd more than a hundred books through the increasingly corporate halls of Viking and Doubleday, publishing authors as diverse as Diana Vreeland, Louis Auchincloss, George Plimpton, Bill Moyers, Dorothy West, Naguib Mahfouz, and even Michael Jackson. Jackie as Editor gives intimate new insights into the life of a complex and enigmatic woman who found fulfillment through her creative career during book publishing’s legendary Golden Age, and, away from the public eye, quietly defined life on her own terms.
I'm giving Jackie as Editor: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Greg Lawrence a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

4 comments:

  1. I want to read this! It sure sounds like a captivating read for a Captivated Reader.

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  2. Agree sounds captivating. Cheers

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and leaving me a comment. Happy reading!

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