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What Would Jackie Do? An Inspired Guide to Distinctive Living Hardcover – December 29, 2005

3.9 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Never mind what Jackie would do. The bigger question is, what would she think about having her name attached to this chatty, gossipy manual that covers everything from how to gracefully decline a date ("Oh, you're so thoughtful but I'm terribly busy these days") to how to avoid a "customs confrontation" regarding your overseas spending ("book your flight through an airport where the agents are apt to be less savvy" about recognizing Prada). Journalists Branch and Callaway have mined every detail of Jackie's life to generate such advice as "Do suck up to people with private craft" and interviewed a variety of incongruous experts like designer Oleg Cassini and Thom Filicia of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, who observes, "So many clients want to create a facade.... Jackie would never do that." Branch and Callaway deem Jackie "the model for how to do practically everything right," but leave wiggle room to point out her shortcomings, among them smoking, skipping meals and using appetite-suppressing medications. As a guide to the social niceties (and sometimes not-so-niceties) this should be taken with a pile of salt; gossip hounds may take a look just to feed their appetite for all things Jackie. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

A clever, nuanced guide full of pointers that underscore what it takes to be a complete woman of style today. -- Teri Agins, senior fashion writer, The Wall Street Journal; author, The End of Fashion

A terrific read. "What Would Jackie Do?" is quick-witted and fun. It's a smart, modern take on Jackie--instructive, insightful, irreverent. -- Nina Munk, contributing editor, Vanity Fair

As creative as a well-appointed room! [The authors] show us all how to get our house in order. -- Jonathan Adler, interior decorator; author of My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living

This delicious book shows us that Jackie's life lessons are as timeless as the woman herself. -- Charlotte Ford, author, 21st Century Etiquette: Charlotte Ford's Guide to Manners for the Modern Age
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham; First Edition edition (December 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592401902
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592401901
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #579,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Linda Painchaud-Steinman VINE VOICE on December 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book isn't about trying to BE Jackie; it's about living your own best, most elegant life, and doing it with dignity and style.

The authors are clearly Jackie fans (though they don't hesitate to point out her shortcomings and bad habits), and they respectfully apply a sort of "Jackie-meter" to all sorts of topics, such as: grooming, style, makeup, lifestyle, money, men, etc.

They also include some personal tidbits about Jackie's life, which, at least to this reader, were interesting.

I didn't find the book at all "gossipy" (as one of the editorial reviews called it), but rather, I found it a respectful tribute to an icon who was obviously admired by the women who wrote this guide.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having grown up slightly too young for all the Jackie hype, I have always been curious to know what was behind it all. This book is a great way to learn about all the mystique behind the woman (while also learning how to bring that mystique into your own life). It has an easy-to-read colloquial style that is engaging and funny. I recommend it to anyone wondering about the faux-pas in your own life, or curious about Jackie's.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This highly readable, and very enjoyable book, gives us insight into what made Jackie Kennedy Onnasis so pleasureable to watch throughout her lifetime. While breeding might account for some of her class, it was more in the way she treated those with little power. She remembered her long-time employees' names, their children and spouses' names, treated them with respect, and as consequence, none so far, as I know, have written any nasty tell-all books about her.
If we all followed the advice in this book, the world would be a better place to live in. Jackie embraced life, and the world is a little darker with out her in it.
Robin Landry author When I Dream
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Format: Hardcover
It is wise advice that the best way to improve one's sense of etiquette and polish is to identify someone you admire and learn by their example. In the world of savoir faire and diplomacy, Jackie was known for her style and grace. A saint she was not but in pure terms of manners ... she was known for them. So in the manners department she is one to watch, along with Queen Rania of Jordan, Queen Noor of Jordan, and modern class acts such as Natalie Portman and Kiera Knightley. Jackie belongs to an era where manners were held in much higher esteem and counted for something. Sometimes the old school is worth keeping current.
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Format: Hardcover
First tule: don't take this all too seriously. The title should tell us something: irreverence is in order. From the offence taken in some of the reviews I suggest a visit to the dictionary. Look up irony, and effacing humor. The best way to enjoy this book is smorgasbord style. If the gossip offends, skip to great tips for decorating your mantle (carefully cut birch twigs in oversized ginger jars? why didn't we all think of this?).

Jackie hovers on the periphery, she left her mark, and we all wonder if we measure up. I found the book lots of fun, and, sometimes quite useful.
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Format: Paperback
I had many problems with the book. Aside from its bad, frivolous writing with little content, the advice given in the book is very impractical- although the authors acknowledge that Jackie was rich and we cannot imitate her life style and say that they try to make it suitable for less bourgeois women, the book does nothing but celebrate and encourage the shallow, high maintenance lifestyle. For example, the book says it's ok to be paranoid about your hair- Jackie would send a personal assistant to wherever city Jackie's going so she can find a good hair dresser there. When you can't do that, fly in your favorite hair dresser. If you can't even do that, then get the hair done before your travel and sleep upright when you travel (so your hair remains intact)- how ridiculous is that. I found other advice that isn't impractical is either common sense (e.g. "writing thank you cards is good")or dated (e.g. "don't outshine your men," "don't show your intelligence right away because guys will be intimidated").

More importantly, I found the book to be pretty superficial- it's literally only about what the title indicates: "what would Jackie DO"- nothing more than that. It fails to address Jackie's philosophies, feelings, and compassion behind her actions, diminishing her life to trivial and superficial obsessions over appearance, fancy lifestyle, etc. In other words, you don't really get to see the holistic picture of who she is - just unflattering, random fragments of what Jackie might do if she was living today (as guessed by the authors). Another problematic side of this is that the authors do not give good reasons "why" we should follow their advice other than simply that "because Jackie would do/did it" (or so they think).
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Format: Hardcover
The authors keep this book very entertaining while providing valuable insight into Jackie's life and helpful ideas to make our own lives more intriguing. The book is a fun read that you won't want to put down. It offers a whole new perspective on Jackie and tells the reader how they can add more elegance and diplomacy into their own lives. It is a definate must read for anyone who likes Jackie but also for anyone wants to add a little pizazz into their lives. Enjoy!
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