One can’t help but wonder if the amazing flood of feeling would have been exhibited for any president since Kennedy, and why his death elicited such response. Not all, but many Americans looked at the Kennedy’s as “America’s Family,” because they were so accessible. They were active, athletic, photogenic, and fun. Jackie invited us all into the White House for a televised tour; Jack led us through some of our best and worst times. Those were the days the media largely kept us informed of the wholesome side of public figures, protecting us from the seamier celebrity news. I don’t think we’ve lost our ability to be shocked, but perhaps knowing every dirty detail of every celebrity’s life has lessened our ability to be rocked.
Letters to Jackie is a tight focus on a time in our history when we allowed ourselves heroes, and the letters therein offer insight into how deeply three bullets could rock our nation. It is an intimate, deeply affective expose of international anguish.
Fitzpatrick includes biographical information on many of the letter writers, letter citations, and notes at the end of the book. Although given only a small sample of the hundreds of thousands of letters that were written, we are provided with an incomparable look into America’s heart.
Bottom Line: Would I buy Letters to Jackie? Yes.