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on November 30, 2000
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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on January 3, 1999
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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on June 20, 1998
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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on October 30, 2002
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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on December 1, 2000
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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on July 7, 1998
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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on November 3, 2013
Brings me back to the glory days of Camelot. Just love pursuing the all so delectable menus at all these State Dinners. Love that Jacqueline at such a young age was able to transform the appearance and functionality of the White House. There is no doubt that Jacqueline Kennedy is the first and only woman whom was able to aptly change America 's view of the First Family. Who can not remember all those treasured images of The President and Mrs. Kennedy while greeting state dignitaries, sailing on the cape, having an intimate dinner, froalcking with their children, or posing for a state portrait. The Kennedy 's had it and we will never see it again. Besides the wonderful commentaries and stories by Trisha Baldrich are the delicious menus executed by her head chef, French yes but his creations are just a culinary wizardry. I myself am a very excellent home chef. The Kennedy s chef can far out cook me, I have as of yet not tried any of those all to watering recipes.

All said the book is a treasure. My favorite was the Dinner at Mount Vernon, if by magic I could choose a day as a famous person. This is the person(Jackie) and this would be the event. To me this dinner was a magical affair.
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on August 2, 1999
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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on September 29, 2013
From the actual Chef's perspective, this is a wonderful book explaining Mrs. Kennedy's taste in food, the way she expected the table settings and her preference on dinnerware. A really nice book and great recipes.
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on January 2, 2014
I was not alive when John F. Kennedy was President, but I have done much research on his life along with that of his wife Jackie. Simply put, my realization is that although we in America don't have Kings and Queens we did in the early 1960's as no one, not even the Reagans, were as stylish and glamorous as the Kennedy's.

This a a beautiful copy table book that has Jackie giving the reader a complete tour of the White House, everything from rare photos of rooms that were redone when she was First Lady to the different kinds of menus served at state function dinners.

An A+ book and for the historian of American history or a lover of the Kennedy family.
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