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Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath [Kindle Edition]

Mimi Alford
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (481 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $9.39
You Save: $5.61 (37%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
In the summer of 1962, nineteen-year-old Mimi Beardsley arrived in Washington, D.C., to begin an internship in the White House press office. After just three days on the job, the privileged but sheltered young woman was presented to the President himself. Almost immediately, the two began an affair that would continue for the next eighteen months. Emotionally unprepared to counter the President’s charisma and power, Mimi was also ill-equipped to handle the feelings of isolation that would follow as she fell into the double life of a college student who was also the secret lover of the most powerful man in the world. After the President’s assassination in Dallas, she grieved alone, locked her secret away, and tried to start a new life, only to be blindsided by her past.
 
Now, no longer defined by silence or shame, Mimi Alford finally unburdens herself with this unflinchingly honest account of her life and her extremely private moments with a very public man. This paperback edition includes a special Q&A, in which the author reflects on the intense media attention surrounding the book’s initial release. Once Upon a Secret is a moving story of a woman emerging from the shadows to reclaim the truth.
 
“With the benefit of hindsight and good old-fashioned maturity, [Mimi Alford] writes not just about the secret, but the corrosive effect of keeping that secret. . . . You can’t help liking her, or her elegant and thoroughly good-natured book.”—The Spectator

“What [Alford] sacrificed in lucre she has more than recovered in credibility and dignity.”—The Washington Times
 
“Compelling . . . a polished voice telling a credible story you can take to the bank.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer
 
“Explosive . . . searingly candid.”—New York Post

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“With the benefit of hindsight and good old-fashioned maturity, [Mimi Alford] writes not just about the secret, but the corrosive effect of keeping that secret. . . . You can’t help liking her, or her elegant and thoroughly good-natured book.”—The Spectator
 
“What [Alford] sacrificed in lucre she has more than recovered in credibility and dignity.”—The Washington Times
 
“Compelling . . . a polished voice telling a credible story you can take to the bank.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer
 
“Explosive . . . searingly candid.”—New York Post

About the Author

Mimi Alford lives in western Massachusetts with her husband, Dick. Together they have seven grandchildren. This is her first book.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1426 KB
  • Print Length: 210 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1400069106
  • Publisher: Random House (February 8, 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004FGMPIK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,457 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
284 of 309 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well written look into a long held secret... February 9, 2012
Format:Hardcover
The people bashing this book (especially those that haven't even read the book) merely b/c the author had the AUDACITY to tell her story need to get over themselves. Of COURSE this is truth. I believe every word of it. It is well documented that President Kennedy had scores of other women. It is also true that the author was outed by another author. John Kennedy was the most powerful man in the world. He was dashing and handsome and incredibly charismatic...all these things also well and endlessly documented. Why is it so hard to believe that a very young, incredibly naive and sheltered young woman would find herself in this situation. This was a different time. If the president wanted young girls in his bed, he had them. Nobody batted an eyelash. The legend of Camelot and the Kennedy clan make for wonderful stories but the truth is that John Kennedy was human. He was a man raised in an elite world in which he was groomed his entire life to become the president. He did whatever he wanted whenever he wanted. These young girls were at his disposal. Period. Trying to imagine being a 19 year old virgin with zero experience with men, being led to a bed by president Kennedy makes ME speechless. Yes she could have said no. She could have walked away...in theory. Yet his power over her was just as strong as any force on this planet. It would take a very mature and strong 19 year old to tell the president to back off. NOBODY said no to Kennedy. Not even grown men and certainly not young girls. The author of this book isn't painting him as someone who assaulted her. She is being very honest about being swept up and away by the situation and the momentum of the man and his incredible presence and charisma. I think she is brave to tell her story. Listen if you want to, or don't listen, but don't call her a liar just b/c you don't like the way truth grates against the fairy tale in your head.
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778 of 859 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thump on the head to Barbara Walters of THE VIEW February 10, 2012
Format:Hardcover
The insaneness of the ladies of The View made me order this - Barbara Walters and Whoopie Goldberg in essence scolded this woman for writing this book, asking this woman if she had thought about Caroline Kennedy's feelings??!! I was STUNNED!! WHo cares about Caroline Kennedy! Did Jack Kennedy ever think about his own actions - did he think about what he was doing to an impressionable teenager? Did he think about HIS LEGACY and his grandchildren?? SHAME ON YOU BARBARA - but I guess you'll still get invited the Caroline's hoUse to dinner because you did try!!! SHAME ON YOU WHOOPIE - you should have empathy towards someone who was taken advantage of......you're both hypocrites - which is why I am buying this book - I hope this woman makes millions - and that other young women read it - perhaps they will think twice when being manipulated not only by powerful men - but by old ladies who should know better - TWO THUMPS ON THE HEAD - ONE FOR WHOOPIE AND ONE FOR BARBARA!!
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364 of 403 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Believeable And Depressing February 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book tells the story of Mimi Beardsley Alford, who as a 19 year old White House intern, had a sexual relationship with President Kennedy for an approximate 18 month period from June, 1962 to November, 1963. A relatively short book, it provides information about Alford's family background, her education, her affair with JFK,the fallout that came from keeping the relationship secret and then having it outed 40+ years later.
While the veracity of her claims have come under a lot of scrutiny, I tend to think that she is telling the truth. I also get it in regard to how a young woman can get hoodwinked into a sordid affair with a powerful man.
What I don't get is why this very short book was written. I saw Alford on a 60 minute television interview with Meredith Viera tonight after I finished this book. Truthfully, the interview basically covered the main points covered in the book. While on tv and in this book Alford remembers JFK with fondness, I thought JFK came off badly and at times really quite perverse. It was very obvious that Alford was one of many women that JFK used for sex. Speaking of her personal experiences with the president, Alford was blunt but not overtly graphic. Mostly she talked about the sexual liasons in the White House and on the road, playing what she called the "waiting game" which consisted of being sequestered in a hotel room(to avoid detection) until JFK had time for sex. She also had a pregnancy scare which turned out to be a false alarm, though first friend Dave Powers flew into action and managed to provide her with the phone number of an abortionist. Apparently the realities of her situation didn't shake up Alford enough as the relationship with Kennedy sputtered on for another year.
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85 of 96 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Honest and Disturbing February 10, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I stayed up last night into the wee hours reading this book. I believe every single word of it. I have absolutely no sympathy for the chorus that is singing "What will Caroline think?" HER father should have thought of that....not Mimi. Having been a young girl once upon a time in Washington, D.C., I can understand exactly how Mimi got caught up in things. She was no match for her predator. Do I believe that this impacted her marriage and future happiness? Yessssss. Do I appreciate her honesty and candor and courage for writing the book? Yessssss. Do I hope that her honest effort to accurately tell her side of a story makes her wealthy? Yesssss. I have absolutely no patience for the chorus who are chirping that this is made of whole cloth because JFK is dead. There is PLENTY of corroborative evidence. Congrats, Mimi. Thanks for your courage. Once again, for those critics who accuse Mimi of making this up, do a little research before you spout off.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great book! Girlfriend loves it!
Published 23 hours ago by Daniel G Szenczy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Heartbreaking story of a young girl fall from innocence by a President who was basically a self centered louse.
Published 10 days ago by Prissy Roosth
3.0 out of 5 stars ... about JFK's dark side than many of us who liked to buy into the...
I found this account shocking in that it tells us more about JFK's dark side than many of us who liked to buy into the Camelot legend want to hear, but I disagree with the author's... Read more
Published 11 days ago by D. Schneider
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
an ok read
Published 21 days ago by M. Trausch
3.0 out of 5 stars shattered my image of JFK
This was a compelling read (actually, I took it from the Library as an audiobook).
Although I'd heard of JFK's womanizing, it never really hit home with me until this book. Read more
Published 25 days ago by little lady
5.0 out of 5 stars a great book, not for the usual reasons
This is a great book, not for the usual reasons. It offers insights into JFK that are simply not available elsewhere. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Dabí Sánchez
5.0 out of 5 stars Great history read.
Sadly honest book of a young woman who looses her innocence. Couldn't put it down.
Published 29 days ago by DIANA SALYERS
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what you are expecting.
Not at all salacious . The author does a great job of describing the woman of the early 60's. A wonderful story of grace and personal growth
Published 1 month ago by rdavis
3.0 out of 5 stars Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy
I liked Mimi's honesty & ability to keep the secret for so many years, BUT the only thing I can say is that JFK took complete advantage of her & pretty much ruined her life, for... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Eileen M. Modlin
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
very interesting book. once I started reading I didn't want to put it down. I suggest this to any new reader.
Published 1 month ago by Kari Evans
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