Cover image for American legacy : the story of John & Caroline Kennedy
American legacy : the story of John & Caroline Kennedy
Heymann, C. David (Clemens David), 1945-2012.
First Atria Books hardcover edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Atria Books, [2007]

Physical Description:
xii, 593 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E843.K42 H49 2007 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
E843.K42 H49 2007 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
E843.K42 H49 2007 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
E843.K42 H49 2007 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
E843.K42 H49 2007 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
E843.K42 H49 2007 Adult Non-Fiction Biography

On Order



In the definitive history of the lives of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Caroline Kennedy, the bestselling author of RFK brings to light new evidence that reveals, as never before, the contrasting lives of the children of Camelot. of b & w photos.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

"The first dual biography of JFK's children is a far cry from the glitzy, superficial star bios that litter bookstore shelves. The book, which traces the lives of John and Caroline Kennedy, begins with a detailed account of the 1999 death of John Jr., and Heymann pulls no punches: the airplane crash, he demonstrates (citing government documents, among other sources), was caused by the inability of an inexperienced pilot to handle weather conditions under which he had no business flying. The rest of the book is like that: hard-hitting, straightforward, and when the situation calls for it uncomplimentary. Heymann touches on some well-worn Kennedy themes: JFK's womanizing, Jackie's demanding nature, the whole Kennedys-as-American-royalty thing. But by focusing on the children, he gives us a new perspective on the family. We see the president and his wife through the eyes of their offspring, and, after their father's death, we see what growing up Kennedy means to a young girl and boy who are desperately trying to be regular kids in an environment that absolutely doesn't permit such a thing. The book appears to be well researched (although some readers might quibble with using such low-end biographers as J. Randy Taraborrelli and Kitty Kelley as sources), and there's no denying that Heymann knows how to make a biography read like an epic novel. A must for committed Kennedy watchers."--"Pitt, David" Copyright 2007 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

The latest tell-all biography from bestseller Heymann, sure to become a common sight at beaches across America, is a look at the life of John Kennedy, Jr. that remains compelling despite the fact hat much of the material here has been covered elsewhere (not least in Heymann?s RFK and A Woman Named Jackie). Heymann shows sympathy and admiration for the Kennedy family, but doesn?t blanch at presenting the seamier side of Camelot-including sexual exploits, drugs and alcohol abuse. The book begins with a riveting account of John Jr.?s fatal 1999 plane crash, what Heymann characterizes as an accident waiting to happen: "He knew just enough [about piloting] to be considered dangerous," especially in collusion with factors like "alcohol, pharmaceuticals, a broken ankle... to say nothing of youth, folly, and overconfidence." Naturally, Jackie Onassis plays a big role, especially in John-John?s early years; Heymann illustrates to heart-breaking effect what a devoted mother she was, shielding her children from media overexposure and the siren call of celebrity to the best of her ability while also dealing with a husband who was famously unfaithful and publicly murdered. A typical Kennedy life story, haunted by fame and tragedy, this volume won?t surprise anyone who?s well-read on the subject, but it?s a fine, emotional summer read for anyone who daydreams of American royalty. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



Author's Note After the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, his widow, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, took it upon herself to raise their two children, John Jr. and Caroline, in as normal an atmosphere as their celebrity would allow. As a single parent, Jackie gave them her love and her time, and supported them in their daily activities and life decisions. Her strong commitment to her children and her fervent desire to keep them out of the glare of the spotlight -- not always successfully -- were nevertheless a testimonial to her diligence, a true sign of her devotion. The results of her efforts were (and are) clearly visible. Unlike so many of the other Kennedys of their generation, John and Caroline were centered and successful. For all their losses and travails, they managed to avoid the pitfalls and scandals that beset so many of their cousins. Their values reflected the better part of their heritage. They were humble, modest, and refined -- rare attributes in any individual regardless of background. What makes John and Caroline's story unique is that from the moment of their births, they occupied a central position in what is generally regarded as the most famous family in the United States, if not the world. Even as young children growing up in the White House, their most subtle gestures and actions made headlines. As they grew older, their fame derived less from their accomplishments than from what each came to represent in historic terms. As the children of arguably the most famous American couple of the second half of the twentieth century, they were destined to live their lives in the public domain, the subject of countless magazine articles, television specials, and newspaper reports. Yet until now they have not been the subject of a dual biography. In that sense, this volume represents a first. In good times and bad, John and his sister, Caroline, were unusually close, bound together not only by common heritage and circumstance but by a series of traumas and tragedies that ultimately altered the course of their lives. Yet what seems particularly unique about them is that despite their shared intimacy, the two were vastly different in personality and temperament. A wife and mother, Caroline has always been introverted and intensely private. She possesses her father's appearance but her mother's strength of will. She is as devoted to her own children as her mother was to hers. Like her mother, she is something of a mystery, difficult to read, hard to interpret. John looked more like his Bouvier mother but boasted his father's debonair charm, outgoing conviviality, and sense of humor. Caroline has always been reticent, whereas her brother shone in public. Had he lived, it is likely he would have followed in his father's footsteps and entered the political arena. Given the opportunity -- and with a bit of Irish luck -- he might well have gone all the way. In several respects, this book is more about John than it is about Caroline. His life is complete. For better or worse, his tragic (and untimely) end allows us to examine him in a fuller, more definitive vein. Many of his friends and acquaintances were willing to speak on the record for the first time. Caroline's life continues to evolve. In this regard, she remains very much a work in progress. While generally cooperative, her friends and associates were less forthcoming and more protective. Approaching the age of fifty, she is still an open book, a volume with an ending yet to be written. What emerges is a portrait of two siblings, a brother and sister -- one perspective drawn in full color, the other limned in shades of black and white. This, then, is their story. Copyright (c) 2007 by C. David Heymann Excerpted from American Legacy: The Story of John and Caroline Kennedy by C. David Heymann All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Author's Note
Part I
Chapter 1 The Fall of Icarus (1)
Chapter 2 The Fall of Icarus (2)
Part II
Chapter 3 ""Good Morning, Mr. President""
Chapter 4 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Chapter 5 Camelot at Dusk
Part III
Chapter 6 New York, 1964-1968
Chapter 7 Rich as Croesus
Chapter 8 Rites of Passage
Chapter 9 A Greek Tragedy
Part IV
Chapter 10 First Love
Chapter 11 Brown
Chapter 12 Maurice and Ed
Chapter 13 Winners and Losers
Chapter 14 Babies, Books, Boys, and New Girlfriends
Part V