Grace and Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House Essay

“Grace and Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House” This book was written by one of the most outstanding journalists Sally Bedell Smith. It was published by Random House in the beginning of May, 2004. Recently published book made lots of people change their opinion about the presidency of John F. Kennedy.             While reading this book the reader returns to sixties, observe the life in the White House.

It catches us and brings right to the centre of all events. It reveals hidden facts, makes correct incorrect, and completes incomplete.If  a reader has never read the books about John F. Kennedy, so that is a great possibility to feel the atmosphere of the Kennedy White House and to make an opinion of how it looked like.Smith doesn’t argue or support some stereotypes, she just tells what she learnt about the Kennedys.Why is this book so popular? Why does it catch people’s attention? The presidency of John F. Kennedy was the time of the beginning of sexual revolution, movement for civil rights, and the hot peak of Cold War. This book tells only about three years of Kennedy’s presidency starting from 1960’s elections till the assassination in 1963 but at the same time it is filled with huge quantity of facts.

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Those who are interested in political life of the United States in sixties will be disappointed because this book is about internal life of the President. Of course, he met with Khrushchev, which was a real achievement, because earlier none met the leader of the “coutry-enemy”. He also tried to solve problems of  the devision of Germany, Laos, Vietnam, Cuba, space race, and treatment of nuclear war. People still are impressed by some  facts from private life of John F. Kennedy but in this book all of them are gathered together, which makes the book more and more interesting.

Also author used earlier unavailable letters, personal papers, diaries and stories of members of the Kennedy circle, who had never spoken publicly before.John F. Kennedy had lots of friends but he never was 100% opened to them. He made an impression of a person who was engaged with politics and policy and was always ready to listen to important advice.The White House of early sixties is compared to the Camelot with all the knights of a Round Table, King Arthur and his wife Queen Guinevere. The Kennedy’s presidency really looked like the battles of King Arthur and his knights for regaining their kingdom.

As the first impression the reader can say that Jacqueline had minor role in the political life of the United States.             People said that Jacqueline wanted to make Versailles in Washington, D.C. The First Lady  made her life in the White House as she wanted, establishing lots of obligations to the staff. She admired some famous ladies in history, who had their salons. Of course, everybody can laugh at her but not everyone knows that her husband cheated her. She could tell her pain only to the closest friends. But she always publicly ignored her husband’s affaires, that made her more respected.

            One old saying says, “Behind powerful husband stands more powerful wife”. This saying is exactly about the Kennedys. She had never let him down. Jacqueline used her charm and knowledge to show the world the example of American First Lady.

Some people think that to be the First Lady is too simple: to dress smartly, to smile to simple people, to keep silence. They suppose that the First Lady’s life is somewhere there, behind the huge doors in the White House. But how much does it cost to keep the House “White”?When the Kennedys moved into the White House, Washington was divided between those who were in the Kennedy circle and those who were out of that circle. Washington had never seen such changes.

            This book is like a storm which comes and changes reader’s opinion forever. The reader starts feeling the difference between a simple life and the life of the President.Bedell Smith, Sally, 2004 “Grace and Power: Private World of the Kennedy White House” (Random House) 


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