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In the Kennedy Style Hardcover – April 13, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition edition (April 13, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385489641
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385489645
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 9.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Letitia Baldrige's dedication reads, "For all those who have heard about the grace and charm of the Kennedy White House and wondered, was it really that extraordinary? The answer is 'Yes.'" The vibrant couple who moved into the White House in January 1961 were unlike anything that venerable home had ever seen. They were young, attractive, and cosmopolitan, and they were intent on putting their own indelible stamp on American culture. During the next three years, John and Jacqueline Kennedy wrote an entirely new chapter in the annals of presidential entertaining. Baldrige, Jackie's social secretary, and René Verdon, the White House chef, worked with them behind the scenes to bring off state dinners that are still talked about today (like the famous "Nobel Laureate Dinner"). Alas, the Kennedy days are over, but Baldrige and Verdon bring back the memories in this marvelous book, which pairs Baldrige's fun, gossipy recollections of each star-studded social occasion with Verdon's sophisticated pre-nouvelle cuisine menus (including recipes simple enough for today's home cook). It's the photographs of the glittering guests, Jackie's ravishing gowns and perfect collarbone, and Kennedy--tan and handsome in black tie--that invoke the most wistfulness for that "one brief shining moment" that for some represented the pinnacle of American cultural history. After all the dirt, this book is like a long drink of cool water. END

From Booklist

Written in an informal style, this memoir that Baldridge and Verdon have collaborated on draws from the heady years they spent in the Kennedy White House. That time seems so far away, a time when the country seemed full of a new promise; and it is that sense that Baldridge captures in the chapters of this engaging book. With reproductions of menus, formal invitations, and plenty of photographs, evenings that are now a part of our nation's history are presented in intimate detail. Each chapter takes on a particular event--the entertaining of a world figure, from Princess Grace to AndreMalraux; but there are few glimpses behind the veneer of power. The recipes are detailed, and in these delicious creations, Verdon shows why he has earned all his honors. At a time when so much has been published about what was wrong with the Kennedy White House, it is refreshing to be reminded of something that was very right about those tragically few years. Raul Nino

More About the Author

Letitia Baldrige's books on manners have sold over two million copies; her previous guide to executive manners sold over half a million copies worldwide and has had sixteen printings. This is her thirteenth book. In her diplomatic career she served in the American embassies in Paris and Rome; in the White House she was Jacqueline Kennedy's chief of staff. She has served as a marketing consultant to many major international corporations and holds three corporate directorships. She produces management training seminars on business behavior for major American companies and professional institutions and writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column and a monthly national magazine column. She is a regular on major network TV programs. Letitia Baldrige and her family live in Washington, D.C.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I myself am a very excellent home chef.
barbara burke
In this small book there is a surprising amount of information on Jackie and Letitia's entertaining style, in stories, beautiful photographs, recipes and anecdotes.
jumpy1
If you are interested in the social aspects of the Kennedy White House years, or enjoy reading about Pres.
C. Ferry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Sandy McLendon on November 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a marvellous, beautifully presented look at the entertaining done by President and Mrs. Kennedy during their too-brief thousand days in the White House. Letitia Baldrige was Mrs. Kennedy's Social Secretary, and she has collaborated with Kennedy White House Chef Rene Verdon on reminiscences and recipes that really do evoke that very special time and place. Baldrige's anecdotes give glimpses behind the scenes that help us all understand how distinguished the hosts, guests, and entertaining really were- and her comments are often very funny indeed. Verdon's recipes are drawn from menus actually served at the White House on historic occasions, such as the famed evening when cellist Pablo Casals played for the Kennedys and their guests. The book is incredibly generous with its illustrations, which range from White House photos, to pictures of actual invitations for the events described, to fashion designer Oleg Cassini's original sketches for Mrs. Kennedy's clothes. For Jackie devotees, the book is a bonanza, with many photos showing her in her full splendour as First Lady; one 1954 photo of her lighting the candles on her dinner table may be the single most beautiful ever taken of her. I have one small, gentle caveat: Verdon's recipes have been given before, in different form, in his 1967 "The White House Chef Cookbook". The versions of the recipes in this new book have been changed a bit from the 1967 incarnations, mainly with an eye to increasing the strength of flavour; today's palates are evidently more demanding than those of the Sixties. Still, you're getting a look at the Kennedy White House from the people who made it HAPPEN- no gossip, no hearsay, no errors of research. Baldrige and Verdon were indisputably THERE, and you could do much worse than to buy their book. Come to think of it, if you've been reading some of the other Kennedy books issued recently, you have.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Carl Dombek on January 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
True to her impeccable style, manners maven Letitia Baldridge gives us a glimpse inside what was surely the most magical White House of the 20th Century.
And while it is a delight to peruse, this tome only hints at the style and panache of a woman who was -- and is -- without peer in style and manners: First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
I heartily recommend this book to anyone who appreciates how dignified a lady was Jacqueline Kennedy, to everyone who remembers the cache' that surrounded the Kennedy White House, and to all who would like to be transported -- however briefly -- to a time which was at once more simple and more elegant than today.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 20, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Anyone interested in Jacqueline's clothing, hairstyles, etc will love this book. It captures Camelot perfectly. The only word I can think of to describe it is "magic".
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Letitia Baldridge's book is unquestionably "un coup de maitre". We are most grateful to her for allowing us to take a peek into that atmosphere of class, sophistication, grace and good taste that once was the Kennedy White House. Reading this fascinating book is like going back into this elegant and refined world created by Jacqueline Kennedy where culture, arts and good conversation were a main priority. I so enjoyed reading that book!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tina Morris on December 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I already own Rene Verdon's White House cookbook which is an enjoyable read as well as a great reference. Many of his great, classic recipes from that collection re-appear in this wonderful, picture-filled book that recreates the magic of Jackie's style that made Camelot. Rene Verdon and Letitia Baldridge show that they have not lost their touch and guide us through a host of beautiful occasions. My personal highlight is the famous state dinner at Mount Vernon. We find out many intriguing details about entertaining at the highest level and are able to take a little of the glamour to our own table. Rene Verdon's recipes are great classics that are meant to be enjoyed over and over again. They can be reproduced by the capable home cook with highly satisfying results.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. J. Allen on July 7, 1998
Format: Hardcover
What a pleasure to learn of the many wondeful events the Kennedy's hosted...I am so thrilled that this book was written by someone who knew the way it truly was! Thank you Ms. Baldridge!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The Kennedy administration was before my time--but just barely, and I grew up interested in Jackie and her kids, but never really understood the mystique until I read this book. Tish Baldrige's book lays out the effort to update The White House for two young, modern parents who inhabited it. She also makes a case for the art of entertaining--a dying or even lost art--and makes me want to throw a dinner party. The Kennedy's lived like royality, it's true. I don't know if The White House would ever get away with the extravagance and glamour today (now that we spend all our money on defense and security), but the more innocent time of the Kennedy administration was ripe for the kind of magic a handsome rancouteur and his well-bred wife could generate. Every page of this book is fascinating, and it's the most delicious slice of history I've ever read. And with the recipes, you too can throw the same luncheon the Kennedys served Prince Ranier and Princess Grace!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Embracing Life on February 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just the cover alone is worth buying this stunning, captivating book! The photos capture the timeless elegance, style and taste, not only in Jackie's clothes but her entertaining, choice of menu and recipes, personal notes...Camelot, undoubtedly! TRULY MAGIC, the book AND the Kennedy administration! I think I own just about every book written about the Kennedys. THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES!!! I've bought this as gifts also.
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