- File Size: 263 KB
- Print Length: 59 pages
- Publisher: Now and Then Reader, LLC (December 16, 2011)
- Publication Date: December 16, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B006N2VOH2
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,301 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$2.99|
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John F. Kennedy’s Women: The Story of a Sexual Obsession Kindle Edition
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Michael O'Brien has a doctorate in history and is emeritus professor of history at the University of Wisconsin. He is the author of "John F Kennedy: a Biography," and has had access to letters, diaries, manuscripts, and oral histories dealing with the late president. I cite this because I think it is important to know that the author is a respected scholar and not someone writing a sensationalist tract with a political ax to grind. There is a bibliography of both primary and secondary sources included in the book. O'Brien's research lead him coming to some important conclusions about the late president and his need for sexual conquest.
The future president wrote extensively about his sexual encounters as a teenager and a young adult in a series of letters to friends that are quoted from by the author. It seems that from a very early age the emphasis for JFK was on quantity -- tallying up the number of women with whom he had sexual relations. According to the author, this was to continue to the tragic end of his too-short life -- there was not much to indicate that he cherished the women or their memory. In his own words, JFK was more interested in the conquest, the "game between men and women," than in the act itself. The author further states in the summary of the book that the president's addiction to sex was not in the normal pattern of addictions -- most addicts at some point want to quit and make promises to quit. JFK apparently never had any feelings about the need to quit or have a desire to quit. He was reckless in not using birth control to prevent conception or disease. As others have written, he seems to have put this aspect of his life into a compartment totally removed from his life with his family and his presidency. O'Brien, however, feels that his sexual exploits did have an effect on his presidency, and states that his research indicated that JFK kept J Edgar Hoover on as director of the FBI because he was afraid that Hoover would use his file on the president's sexual activities against him. He was also constantly exposing himself to blackmail that could have resulted in disaster for his presidency. As to the "first cause" of his womanizing, the author reminds us that the president's father was also a man who had many affairs, and taht JFK told close friends that as a boy he had never felt close to his own mother. These could be possible reasons for his reckless behavior.
The author looks at relationships that Kennedy had with various women and comes up with some interesting conclusions. As to the relationship with the troubled actress Marilyn Monroe, O'Brien does not believe that she was ever the president's mistress. He believes that at the most they may have been intimate one or, maybe two times, and presents convincing evidence. He then moves on to Judith Campbell Exner, the mistress of Sam Giancana,who was also the mistress of JFK. O'Brien discounts most of what Exner said after 1977 about the relationship between the president and Giancana, where money and documents were supposed to have exchanged regarding the elimination of Castro, and that she acted as the bagman on a train ride to Chicago. Her sexual relationship with the president was well documented by FBI reports, Secret Service logs, and White House telephone records. The Castro story seems to have been a fabrication. The author also looks at the relationships JFK had with young women who worked in the White House (although the only reference to a woman who may be Mimi Alford, who recently wrote a book about her affair, was made in conjunction with mention of the infamous duo Fiddle and Faddle), as well as socialite Mary Myer. Secret Service agent interviews confirm that Dave Powers, the president's close friend, brought many women to the White House.
The conclusion: the president was a womanizer who apparently felt no need to control an addiction to sex. He for the most part was able to keep his personal life and his life as the president separate. The author comments that the president was cautious and careful in making policy, but did not see how his reckless personal actions could bring discredit on him and the office if they had become known in his lifetime. He may have been driven to this course of action due to his father's similiar womanizing, a mother to whom he never felt close, and a feeling that due to his health problems his life might be short, so he decided to live it up while he was here. He was "fortunate" to be in office at a time when the press kept the sex life of the president from the public in a gentlemen's agreement. I think the author makes a compelling case for his conclusions.
Kindle edition: The Kindle edition included the cover of the book (a picture of the president with Marilyn Monroe on the night of his birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden) as well as the title page. There were no other photographs. There were minor transcription errors.