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Books  >>  History

Ellen Fitzpatrick

Letters to Jackie

Ellen Fitzpatrick Letters To Jackie Condolences From A Grieving Nation
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Main description:

As seen on NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, CNN, MSNBC, and in the Boston Globe, New York Times, and USA Today

It is perhaps the most memorable event of the twentieth century: the assassination of president John F. Kennedy

Within seven weeks of president Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy received more than 800,000 condolence letters. Two years later, the volume of correspondence would exceed 1.5 million letters. For the next forty-six years, the letters would remain essentially untouched.

Now, in her selection of 250 of these astonishing letters, historian Ellen Fitzpatrick reveals a remarkable human record of that devastating moment, of Americans across generations, regions, races, political leanings, and religions, in mourning and crisis. Reflecting on their sense of loss, their fears, and their hopes, the authors of these letters wrote an elegy for the fallen president that captured the soul of the nation.

Review quote:

“Ellen Fitzpatrick’s wonderful book — which is both a perceptive history of the public response to John Kennedy’s death and a selection of the millions of letters that followed the assassination — is a remarkable window into the character of the nation in the 1960s.”

Review quote:

“This is a terrific, original, and important work, the perfect match between subject and author. With an historian’s grasp of time and place and a novelist’s feel for drama and detail, Fitzpatrick provides a stunningly fresh look at the impact of JFK’s assassination on the American people.”

Short description/annotation:

“A terrific, original, and important work….Fitzpatrick provides a stunningly fresh look at the impact of JFK’s assassination on the American people.”
—Doris Kearns Goodwin

For Letters to Jackie, noted historian and News Hour with Jim Lehrer commentator Ellen Fitzpatrick combed through literally thousands of condolence messages sent by ordinary Americans to Jacqueline Kennedy following the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy, in 1963. The first book ever to examine this extraordinary collection, Letters to Jackie presents 250 intimate, heartfelt, eye-opening responses to what was arguably the most devastating event in twentieth century America, providing a fascinating perspective on a singular time in the history of our nation.

 


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