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Grace and Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House Audiobook, by Sally Bedell Smith Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Sally Bedell Smith Narrator: Lee Adams Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2004 ISBN: 9781415904398
3.00539083557951 out of 53.00539083557951 out of 53.00539083557951 out of 53.00539083557951 out of 53.00539083557951 out of 5 3.01 (371 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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In GRACE & POWER: THE PRIVATE WORLD OF THE KENNEDY WHITE HOUSE, New York Times bestselling author Sally Bedell Smith takes us inside the Kennedy White House with unparalleled access and insight. Having interviewed scores of Kennedy intimates, including many who have never spoken before, and drawing on letters and personal papers made available for the first time, Smith paints a richly detailed picture of the personal relationships behind the high purpose and poiltical drama of the twentieth century's most storied presidency.
At the dawn of the 1960s, a forty-three-year-old president and his thirty-one-year-old first lady – the youngest couple ever to occupy the White House – captivated the world with their easy elegance and their cool conviction that anything was possible. Jack and Jackie Kennedy gathered around them an intensely loyal and brillant coterie of intellectuals, journalists, diplomats, international jet-setters and artists. Perhaps as never before, Washington was sharply divided between the “ins” and the “outs.”
In his public life, JFK created a New Frontier, stared down the Soviets, and devoted himself to his wife and children. As first lady, Jackie mesmerized foreign leaders and the American people with her style and sophistication, creating a White House renowned for its beauty and culture. Smith brilliantly recreates the glamorous pageant of the Kennedy years, as well as the daily texture of the Kennedys’ marriage, friendships, political associations, and, in Jack’s case, multiple love affairs.
Smith’s striking revelations include new information about what drew Jack to his numerous mistresses – and what effects the relationships ultimately had on the women; about the rivalries and resentments among Kennedy’s advisers; and about the poignant days before and after Kennedy’s assassination.
Smith has fashioned a vivid and nuanced portrait not only of two extraordinary individuals but of a new age that sprang to life around them. Shimmering with intelligence and detail, GRACE AND POWER is history at its finest.


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Quotes & Awards

  • After all the hundreds of books written about JFK and Jackie, this is the one that really tells the truth, that gets behind the layers of gossip and conspiracy and innuendo to tell the reader what life was actually like in the White House of Jack and Jackie Kennedy. Sally Bedell Smith is a phenomenal reporter with a sure command of her subject and a keen eye for telling detail and personal nuance. This is it: the last – and true – word on the Kennedy White House. EVAN THOMAS, author of Robert Kennedy: His Life
  • GRACE AND POWER has the readability and texture of an absorbing novel of manners, but it is also a social history of an event-making president and first lady and their entourage at the center of a fateful time. Sally Bedell Smith has done an impressive job of revealing geological layers of the Kennedy world that, despite hundreds of previous books, have remained unseen until now. MICHAEL BESCHLOSS, author of The Conquerors
  • Sally Bedell Smith has produced a mesmerizing account of the Kennedy years that is filled with rich reporting, sophisticated insights, and riveting tales all put into historical perspective. Both Jack and Jackie come into vivid focus. We see the complex relations they had with their court of friends and advisers, and we feel the poignancy of such moments as the death of their son Patrick.
    It’s a fascinating book written with grace and intelligence.
    WALTER ISAACSON, author of Benjamin Franklin: an American Life
  • The Kennedys and their crowd always seemed just out of earshot. In GRACE AND POWER,
    we at last hear what they were saying.
    JOSEPH J. ELLIS, author of Founding Brothers
  • Sally Bedell Smith has not just come up with new information and fresh insights – she has made the story itself seem new and fresh and more compelling than ever. For those of us who remember the Kennedys, this book helps us better understand an episode that shaped our lives. For younger readers, GRACE AND POWER brilliantly captures a moment in history that shaped their world. STROBE TALBOTT, author of The Russia Hand

Listener Reviews

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wproudfo | 2/12/2014

    " Easy to read with great photos. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 1/31/2014

    " Great book about the Kennedy's - lots of focus on their marriage. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Abbey | 1/16/2014

    " i am reading this book after visiting the 6th Floor musuem in Dallas. i wanted to learn more about the Kennedy's. So far very good! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracy | 1/15/2014

    " This book was interesting at times, but not really well written. It seemed a little bit like I was reading a gossip magazine rather than history. The emphasis in this book is on the relationship between JFK and Jackie, which I enjoyed to a certain extent; however, I would have enjoyed more details on some of the historic events that took place during JFK's presidency such as the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis,etc. These things are mentioned and some information is given concerning them, but not enough to give me a solid understanding the these events. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin | 1/5/2014

    " Interesting view of the Kennedy years. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tori | 1/1/2014

    " A good read...leaves me with lots of questions, which is something that I like! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sbennett | 12/29/2013

    " A wonderful book about JFK, his presidency and his life during the almost three years he was President. An honest look at both the good and the bad traits of JFK and Jackie Kennedy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 11/27/2013

    " This didn't grab my attention quite like Mrs. Kennedy and Me, but I am really intrigued with Jackie, who suffered so much loss in her life and carried herself with such poise and grace. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 11/1/2013

    " Very interesting and in depth. Lots of back story and unknown details. I enjoyed it!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marguerite | 9/26/2013

    " The book is very insightful to what happened during the Kennedy White House years. Especially the day to day activities. At times it was very sad. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Doris | 8/21/2013

    " Many things I did not know about the Kennedeys' - lots of who is who - which gets a bit annoying "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jeff | 4/5/2013

    " Didn't really like this one. Was a look the social side of Camelot but there was too much focus on decorating the White House and the affairs of JFK and his staff for my taste. If you are into that then this would be a good book for you. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Biscuits | 1/1/2013

    " I've always been quite fascinated with the kennedys. This was an interesting look at the kennedy white house. I first read an excerpt in vogue. Later read the biography. Even though I knew he was going to get killed in the end - I still cried. What a novelty to have a thinking president. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 4/28/2012

    " This book gave me a new admiration particularly for Jacqueline Kennedy and what she accomplished in restoring some of the grandeur and history to the White House rooms - and at such a young age. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 10/10/2011

    " Very good insight into life in the whitehouse and the spirit of the country at that time "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna | 9/2/2011

    " I am not a Kennedy sycophant. It was interesting. Character matters to me. American royalty to be sure and they lived like it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob | 5/27/2011

    " It was quite interesting to read about the private secrets of them. It made Clinton look like an angel "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jeff | 4/25/2011

    " Didn't really like this one. Was a look the social side of Camelot but there was too much focus on decorating the White House and the affairs of JFK and his staff for my taste. If you are into that then this would be a good book for you. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kimberly | 3/11/2011

    " Can I do 3.7 stars?
    Helpful history that goes down "easy" with a bit too much saucy gossip. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Doris | 1/4/2011

    " Many things I did not know about the Kennedeys' - lots of who is who - which gets a bit annoying "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 6/30/2010

    " This book gave me a new admiration particularly for Jacqueline Kennedy and what she accomplished in restoring some of the grandeur and history to the White House rooms - and at such a young age. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 4/8/2010

    " Very interesting and in depth. Lots of back story and unknown details. I enjoyed it!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna | 2/26/2008

    " I am not a Kennedy sycophant. It was interesting. Character matters to me. American royalty to be sure and they lived like it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 2/7/2008

    " Very good insight into life in the whitehouse and the spirit of the country at that time "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 10/2/2007

    " Great book about the Kennedy's - lots of focus on their marriage. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Biscuits | 5/8/2007

    " I've always been quite fascinated with the kennedys. This was an interesting look at the kennedy white house. I first read an excerpt in vogue. Later read the biography. Even though I knew he was going to get killed in the end - I still cried. What a novelty to have a thinking president. "

About the Author

Sally Bedell Smith is the author of bestselling biographies of William S. Paley, Pamela Harriman, Princess Diana, John and Jacqueline Kennedy, and Bill and Hillary Clinton. A contributing editor at Vanity Fair since 1996, she previously worked at Time and The New York Times, where she was a cultural news reporter. She is the mother of three children and lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, Stephen G. Smith.

About the Narrator

Lee Adams has been a voice artist for many years. Her work for the Educational Television Network can be heard on an array of videos, television series, station identifications, and commercials. She is also an accomplished singer/songwriter and lends her talents to various animation projects whenever possible. Lee has narrated both fiction and nonfiction audiobooks.