JFK Junior The Good Son

518iP18ZlSL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ I just finished a poignant biography by Christopher Anderson about JFK Jr. and the mother he loved, to quote its cover.

I picked it up hesitantly figuring, I’ve read it all before, but after reading the prologue that recaps John’s last fatal moments, I was hooked. Hey, I’m only human.

Two things struck me…one, that he had no idea the Piper Saratoga he was flying had two buttons to activate that would have automatically flown him safely from New Jersey to Massachusetts. Once there, it would have even executed a perfect three-point landing at Martha’s Vineyard Airport.

The definition of hubris is…excessive pride or self-confidence.

If he had taken the time to learn about his new plane, we’d still have him and two others basking in the pre-winter sunlight.

The other fact that struck me was how young Jackie Kennedy was when she died….just 64. I too, like many others, see her only as the first lady in 1963 standing so stoically draped in black at 34 years-old beside her children and fallen husband.

Her Onassis years mean little to me.

Anderson in the book misses nothing. Despite its poignancy, he as any author wanting to sell books, adds the sensationalism we all clearly crave.

Her expenditures on shoes…60.000 dollars for 200 pair at one point….how she sold her designer clothes at resale shops. Ari’s admittance at making a terrible mistake.

Ted Kennedy negotiating a crude settlement with Christina Onassis in the backseat of a limousine at her father’s funeral causing her to jump from the car to join her aunts in the one following behind.

Sad faces at her home at 1040 Fifth, as Jackie laid in her coffin, while an old-fashioned Irish wake took place…Caroline crestfallen on the couch…John holding court.

People wondered how someone so fit who jogged every day could possibly die that young.  We forget the trauma in Dallas, how she smoked at least two packs of cigarettes a day her whole adult life. She got what then were referred to as vitamin shots to keep her going during her White House years we now now were lethal doses of amphetamine. She starved herself to stay thin turning a blind eye to her husband’s chronic philandering that, I don’t care what any French woman says, chips the spirit bone dry.

For all her lionization, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis paid a price.

It bothered me reading John could have been buried at Arlington National Cemetery next to his parents if his mother-in-law didn’t so object, her daughter not earning the same privilege. For the sake of history despite her grief, she should have realized there was more here than her own personal loss. That may sound harsh, but for me history reigns.

But what I really took with me as I rounded the pages was what a great mom Jackie was, and if John had lived, would have been probably one of the greatest, natural statesmen of our time. More than his dad or his Uncle Bobby…simply because he inherited all that was good and fine from everyone who ever touched his short life.

If only he had taken pause on that fateful day, he’d still be among us.

He would have been 54 years-old today.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. (November 25, 1960 – July 16, 1999)

The Good Son….Christopher Anderson highly recommended by anyone interested in the Kennedy legacy.



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
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12 Responses to JFK Junior The Good Son

  1. micklively says:

    I think I should find a copy. Your piece has shown me how very little I know about any of this.


    • From a man’s point of view, it would interest you. He really was a very special fellow considering what he was born into. His mother really raised him along with his sister to be caring people. He was all male…from the time, as a little tyke, he’d wait for his father’s helicopter to land on the White House lawn, to, as an adult, when he became besotted with flying…he was just a boy with a unasked for, loaded lineage.

      A sad tale to be sure, but still a fascinating one.


  2. The book sounds like an excellent read. I am sorry he died so young, taking his wife and her sister along with him, in an accident that didn’t have to happen. Thanks for a great review!


    • Let me say, I also read The Day Diana Died, by Christopher Anderson and that too is rather illuminating. He has just the right amount of poignant credibility with a dash of shock that makes a compelling read…despite the gravitas.


  3. skinnyuz2b says:

    What a waste. John Jr. would have contributed so much.

    On a lighter note, I used to be a social welfare worker. One of my clients called to report the home birth of her 9th child. When asked his name, she said, “John.” I asked his middle name and the reply was “John.” I then asked, “Please give me his first and middle names.” In an exasperated tone my client said, “His name is John John. You know, like President Kennedy’s little boy!”


  4. katecrimmins says:

    After all these years we still have a fascination with the Kennedy clan. So many dark secrets underneath a perfect family façade. Sounds like a fascinating book and I agree that he would have made a very charismatic statesman.


  5. MJ says:

    Superb review, Susannah! Touches all the right bases, and so eloquently. I couldn’t imagine a better one. This is a book I now want to read.


  6. Wow! Jackie certainly did pay the price. I think people forget to recognize that with all the glory, comes a hefty price. They are certainly a fascinating brood that continue to peak our interest. John John was sooooo damn easy on the eyes that I sometimes forget he is no longer with us.


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