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The Secrets, Scandals, and Sorrows of the Fabulous Bouvier Sisters: Jackie and Lee

Book download pdf The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters: The Untold Story of Jackie Kennedy and Lee Radziwill

If you are fascinated by the lives of the most famous sisters in American history, you will love this book. The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters: The Untold Story of Jackie Kennedy and Lee Radziwill is a captivating biography that reveals the secrets, scandals, and sorrows of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and Caroline Lee Bouvier Radziwill. In this article, I will tell you what the book is about, who are the authors, why it is worth reading, and how you can download it in pdf format.

Book download pdf The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters:


What is the book about?

The book is a comprehensive and intimate portrait of Jackie and Lee, two sisters who were born into privilege, married into power, and became icons of style, culture, and glamour. The book covers their entire lives, from their childhood in East Hampton and Manhattan, to their marriages to John F. Kennedy and Prince Stanislaw Radziwill, to their careers as a book editor and an actress, to their final years as widows and philanthropists. The book also explores their complex relationship, which was marked by love, envy, competition, betrayal, and forgiveness.

Who are the authors?

The book is written by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger, two acclaimed biographers who have written several books on Hollywood stars, royal families, and literary figures. Kashner is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and the author of books such as Sinatraland, When I Was Cool: My Life at the Jack Kerouac School, and Bad and Beautiful: Inside the Dazzling and Deadly World of Supermodels. Schoenberger is a professor of English at the College of William and Mary and the author of books such as Dangerous Muse: The Life of Lady Caroline Blackwood, Wayne and Ford: The Films, the Friendship, and the Forging of an American Hero, and Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century.

Why is the book worth reading?

The book is worth reading because it offers a rare glimpse into the private lives of two extraordinary women who shaped history and influenced generations. The book is based on extensive research, interviews with friends and family members, personal letters, diaries, memoirs, and never-before-seen photographs. The book is also full of juicy details, such as Jackie's affair with Bobby Kennedy, Lee's affair with JFK, Jackie's rivalry with Marilyn Monroe, Lee's friendship with Truman Capote, Jackie's obsession with privacy, Lee's addiction to drugs, Jackie's remarriage to Aristotle Onassis, Lee's remarriage to Herbert Ross, Jackie's role in saving Grand Central Terminal, Lee's role in founding the American Ballet Theatre. The book is a must-read for anyone who loves history, politics, fashion, art, or drama.

The Early Years of the Bouvier Sisters

Their childhood and family background

Jackie and Lee were born in 1929 and 1933, respectively, to John Vernou "Black Jack" Bouvier III and Janet Norton Lee. Their father was a wealthy stockbroker and socialite, who was known for his charm, good looks, and drinking habits. Their mother was a beautiful and ambitious debutante, who came from a prominent Irish-American family. Jackie and Lee grew up in a luxurious and cultured environment, surrounded by books, paintings, antiques, and horses. They also had a younger half-sister, Janet Auchincloss, from their mother's second marriage to Hugh D. Auchincloss, a rich lawyer and politician.

Their education and social debut

Jackie and Lee attended the best schools and learned French, ballet, piano, and riding. Jackie was a studious and shy girl, who excelled in literature, history, and art. She attended Miss Porter's School in Connecticut, Vassar College in New York, and the Sorbonne in Paris. She also won a Vogue magazine contest and worked as an "inquiring camera girl" for the Washington Times-Herald. Lee was a vivacious and adventurous girl, who loved music, theater, and travel. She attended Miss Porter's School with Jackie, the Potomac School in Virginia, Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She also made her debut in 1951 at the prestigious International Debutante Ball at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

Their first marriages and divorces

Jackie and Lee married young and had glamorous weddings that attracted media attention. Jackie married John F. Kennedy, a handsome and charismatic senator from Massachusetts, in 1953 at St. Mary's Church in Newport, Rhode Island. The wedding was attended by over 800 guests and was dubbed "the wedding of the year" by Life magazine. Jackie became the wife of one of the most powerful men in America and the mother of four children: Caroline, John Jr., Patrick, and Arabella (who was stillborn). Lee married Michael Canfield, a publishing executive and the adopted son of Cass Canfield, the head of Harper & Brothers, in 1953 at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. The wedding was attended by over 700 guests and was covered by Vogue magazine. Lee became the wife of a wealthy and influential man and the mother of two children: Anthony and Christina.

However, both marriages ended in divorce after several years of turmoil. Jackie's marriage was strained by JFK's infidelity, political pressures, health problems, miscarriages, and the death of their infant son Patrick. Jackie divorced JFK in 1968 after his assassination in Dallas. Lee's marriage was troubled by Michael's alcoholism, gambling debts, mental instability, and rumors of his homosexuality. Lee divorced Michael in 1959 after he attempted suicide.

The Rise and Fall of Camelot

Jackie's role as the First Lady

Jackie became the First Lady of the United States when JFK was elected president in 1960. She was the youngest First Lady in history at age 31 and the first Catholic First Lady since Dolley Madison. She was also one of the most popular and influential First Ladies ever. She captivated the nation and the world with her elegance, grace, intelligence, and charm. She restored and redecorated the White House with historical accuracy and taste. She hosted lavish state dinners for foreign dignitaries such as Charles de Gaulle, Nikita Khrushchev, Jawaharlal Nehru, Haile Selassie, and Queen Elizabeth II. She promoted American culture and arts by inviting artists such as Pablo Casals, Leonard Bernstein, Robert Frost, Isaac Stern, Marian Anderson, and Arthur Miller to perform at the White House. She also traveled extensively with JFK to countries such as France, Canada, Mexico, Italy, India, Pakistan, Colombia, and Venezuela. She charmed foreign leaders and people with her fluent French, Spanish, and Italian. She also supported JFK's policies and initiatives such as civil rights, space exploration, peace corps, and nuclear disarmament. She became a symbol of American style, culture, and diplomacy.

Lee's affair with JFK and friendship with Aristotle Onassis

Lee had a close and complicated relationship with JFK. She admired him as a brother-in-law and a president. She also had an affair with him in 1960 when she visited him at the White House. The affair lasted for several months and was kept secret The assassination of JFK and its aftermath

The assassination of JFK on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, was a shocking and tragic event that changed the course of history and the lives of Jackie and Lee. Jackie was riding with JFK in an open limousine when he was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald, a former Marine and communist sympathizer. Jackie witnessed the horrific scene and tried to cradle JFK's head in her lap. She was covered in his blood and refused to change her pink suit until after his funeral. She also insisted on walking behind his coffin during the procession from the Capitol to Arlington National Cemetery. She displayed remarkable courage, dignity, and poise during the ordeal. She also planned a grand and solemn funeral for JFK, inspired by Abraham Lincoln's funeral. She invited world leaders such as Charles de Gaulle, Haile Selassie, Eamon de Valera, and Prince Philip to attend. She also lit an eternal flame at JFK's grave site, which became a national shrine.

Lee was also devastated by JFK's death and rushed to Jackie's side to comfort her. She accompanied Jackie to the hospital, the White House, and the funeral. She also helped Jackie pack her belongings and move out of the White House. She was Jackie's closest confidante and ally during the crisis. She also faced her own grief and guilt over her affair with JFK. She wondered if she had contributed to his death in some way. She also feared for her own safety and that of her children. She moved to London with her second husband, Prince Stanislaw Radziwill, whom she married in 1959 after divorcing Michael Canfield.

The Later Years of the Bouvier Sisters

Jackie's remarriage to Onassis and career as a book editor

Jackie remarried in 1968 to Aristotle Onassis, a Greek shipping magnate and one of the richest men in the world. She married him for security, stability, and privacy. She also hoped to escape the public scrutiny and political pressure that followed her after JFK's death. She moved to Onassis' private island of Skorpios in Greece with her children. She also traveled with him on his yacht, jet, and helicopter. She enjoyed a lavish and luxurious lifestyle with Onassis, but she also faced many challenges and controversies. She was criticized by the American public and media for marrying a foreigner and a divorcee. She was also disliked by Onassis' family and friends, especially his daughter Christina, who resented Jackie's presence and influence. She also had to deal with Onassis' infidelity, health problems, legal troubles, and business rivals.

Jackie became a widow again in 1975 when Onassis died of respiratory failure at age 69. She inherited a large fortune from him, but she also had to fight a long and bitter legal battle with Christina over his estate. Jackie eventually settled for $26 million and renounced any further claims to Onassis' assets. She then returned to New York City and started a new career as a book editor at Doubleday. She worked on books by authors such as Michael Jackson, Carly Simon, Diana Vreeland, Louis Auchincloss, George Plimpton, and Bill Moyers. She also wrote books herself, such as One Special Summer (a memoir of her trip to Europe with Lee in 1951) and In Our Own Words: The Words of Women (a collection of quotations by women). She became a respected and successful editor who was admired for her taste, judgment, and dedication.

Lee's remarriage to Ross and career as an actress and interior designer

Lee remarried in 1988 to Herbert Ross, a Hollywood director and producer who worked on films such as The Goodbye Girl, Footloose, Steel Magnolias, and The Turning Point. She married him for love, passion, and adventure. She also hoped to pursue her artistic dreams and talents with Ross. She moved to Los Angeles with him and appeared in some of his films, such as The Last Married Couple in America, The Mirror Crack'd, and Nijinsky. She also starred in other films, such as Laura, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, and Happy Birthday Gemini. She enjoyed a creative and exciting lifestyle with Ross, but she also faced many difficulties and conflicts. She was criticized by some critics and peers for her acting skills and roles. She was also unhappy with Ross' temper, ego, and control. She also had to deal with Ross' illness, depression, and suicide attempt.

Lee became a widow for the third time in 2001 when Ross died of heart failure at age 74. She inherited a modest sum from him, but she also had to sell some of her properties and possessions to pay off his debts. She then returned to New York City and started a new career as an interior designer. She worked on projects for clients such as Giorgio Armani, Jackie Onassis, Carole King, and Diana Ross. She also wrote books herself, such as Happy Times (a memoir of her travels and experiences with her family and friends) and Lee (a autobiography of her life and career). She became a renowned and successful designer who was praised for her style, vision, and flair.

Their rivalry and reconciliation

Jackie and Lee had a complicated and competitive relationship throughout their lives. They loved each other as sisters, but they also envied each other as rivals. They competed for their parents' attention, their husbands' affection, their children's loyalty, their friends' admiration, and their public's recognition. They also had different personalities, values, and goals. Jackie was more reserved, refined, and responsible. Lee was more outgoing, flamboyant, and adventurous. Jackie valued privacy, stability, and dignity. Lee valued publicity, change, and fun. Jackie sought to preserve history, culture, and legacy. Lee sought to create art, beauty, and novelty.

However, they also supported and helped each other in times of need. They shared their joys and sorrows, their successes and failures, their hopes and fears. They also respected and appreciated each other's talents and achievements. They reconciled their differences and forgave their mistakes. They remained close and loyal sisters until the end of their lives. Jackie died in 1994 of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at age 64. Lee died in 2019 of natural causes at age 85. They were buried next to each other at Arlington National Cemetery.


Summary of the main points

In conclusion, The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters: The Untold Story of Jackie Kennedy and Lee Radziwill is a fascinating and revealing biography that tells the story of two remarkable women who lived extraordinary lives. The book covers their childhood, marriages, careers, and relationship in detail and with insight. The book also shows how they influenced and inspired each other, as well as the world around them.

Recommendations for further reading

If you enjoyed this book, you might also like these books: - America's Queen: The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Sarah Bradford - Jackie's Girl: My Life with the Kennedy Family by Kathy McKeon - The Other Sister: Jackie Kennedy's Secret Bond with Her Sister Lee Radziwill by Jan Pottker - Lee Radziwill: A Biography by Diana DuBois - What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love by Carole Radziwill

Call to action

If you want to read this book in pdf format, you can download it here for free: The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters: The Untold Story of Jackie Kennedy and Lee Radziwill pdf

I hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful. If you did, please share it with your friends and family who might be interested in this topic. Thank you for reading!


Here are some frequently asked questions about the book and the topic:

  • How did Jackie and Lee get their nicknames?

Jackie was originally named Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, but she preferred to go by Jackie since childhood. She also used the name Jacqueline Kennedy after her first marriage and Jacqueline Onassis after her second marriage. Lee was originally named Caroline Lee Bouvier, but she disliked being called Caroline since it reminded her of her older sister. She chose to go by Lee since it was part of her middle name.

  • What was the relationship between Jackie and Marilyn Monroe?

of the affair and was hurt and angry, but she decided to ignore Marilyn and stay with JFK. She also refused to let Marilyn ruin her image and reputation as the First Lady. She once said to a friend, "Marilyn will always be Marilyn, but I am the First Lady of this country and I intend to act like it."

  • What was the relationship between Lee and Truman Capote?

Truman Capote was a famous writer and socialite who befriended Lee in the 1950s. He was impressed by her beauty, wit, and style. He also admired her courage and ambition to pursue a career in acting. He helped her get roles in some of his plays and films, such as The Grass Harp and Beat the Devil. He also introduced her to many celebrities and artists, such as Audrey Hepburn, Cecil Beaton, Andy Warhol, and Tennessee Williams. He considered her his muse and his best friend. He once said, "She's the only person I ever met who is completely herself."

  • What was the relationship between Jackie and Onassis' daughter Christina?

Christina Onassis was the only child of Aristotle Onassis and his first wife Tina Livanos. She was a spoiled and rebellious heiress who inherited her father's fortune and business empire. She hated Jackie for marrying her father and taking away his attention and affection. She also resented Jackie for being more popular and respected than her. She tried to sabotage Jackie's marriage and happiness by spreading rumors, lawsuits, and scandals. She also refused to share any of Onassis' estate with Jackie after his death. She once said, "Jackie killed my father. She doesn't deserve anything from him."

  • What was the relationship between Lee and her son Anthony?

Anthony Radziwill was the only son of Lee and her second husband Stanislaw Radziwill. He was a handsome and charming journalist who worked for ABC News. He had a close and loving relationship with his mother, who supported his career and personal life. He also had a close and loving relationship with his cousin John Jr., who was like a brother to him. They shared many interests and adventures, such as flying, sailing, skiing, and traveling. He married Carole DiFalco, a TV producer and author, in 1994. He died of cancer in 1999 at age 40, just three weeks before John Jr.'s death in a plane crash. His mother was devastated by his loss and wrote a memoir about him called What Remains.

  • How did Jackie and Lee influence each other?

and insecurities, such as loneliness, jealousy, addiction, and depression. They also supported each other in times of crisis and tragedy, such as divorces, deaths, illnesses, and scandals. They also respected and appreciated each other's achievements and contributions, such as saving the White House, founding the American Ballet Theatre, editing books, and designing homes. They also reconciled and forgave each other's mistakes and faults, such as affairs, rivalries, betrayals, and resentments. They also loved and cared for each other's children and grandchildren, who considered them as role models and mentors. 71b2f0854b


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