Once Upon A Secret

Once Upon A Secret

My Affair With President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath

Book - 2012
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In the summer of 1962, nineteen-year-old Mimi Beardsley arrived by train in Washington, D.C., to begin an internship in the White House press office. The Kennedy Administration had reinvigorated the capital and the country--and Mimi was eager to contribute. For a young woman from a privileged but sheltered upbringing, the job was the chance of a lifetime. Although she started as a lowly intern, Mimi made an impression on Kennedy's inner circle and, after just three days at the White House, she was presented to the President himself. Almost immediately, the two began an affair that would continue for the next eighteen months.
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2012.
ISBN: 9781400069101
Characteristics: 198 p. ; 22 cm.

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z
zhalem
Feb 16, 2017

I could not believe that at the fourth day, her affair would begin with president John F. Kennedy. I have mixed emotions about Alford, as she volunteered in the sexual acts, and would perform oral sex on other man as the president would tell her too. She was his puppet, anything he said would be done. At an age where she could have easily said no, I also find her unconfident to stand up for herself at this particularly age. I'm glad she wrote the book. I enjoyed it. I think it must be hard for her to walk around, knowing that people talk about her with negative comments. President John F. Kennedy was sick, what kind of pervert takes numerous women's, to a pool, give them alcohol and have sex with them in their wife's bed while she is out of town.

c
commercesd
Jul 28, 2014

WARNING: SPOILERS
While the indiscretions of President Kennedy are well known, the description of his behavior in this book made him look more like a predator, which he was. It is one thing to have affairs with experienced and consensual women; it is yet another to willingly and knowingly take a young woman's virginity - especially at that time. Alford told him she was a virgin, and yet, he went right on and took her first sexual experience from her as if he didn't have a care in the world. That was truly despicable - including the fact that he did this right in his wife's bed. This is a man who clearly had sociopathic tendencies when it came to women. I shudder to think about how many other young women he took advantage of. I will never look at JFK the same again after reading this book. Alford is a brave woman to finally tell her story and expose the truth about a public official who, though he does not deserve it, is still held in such high esteem.

s
StarGladiator
May 20, 2013

Really, is this person a credible individual? Where's the absolute and concrete proof of what she claims? Yes, JFK did have several affairs (as also did his wife during that time), yet the women express entirely different sentiments than Mimi (Beardsley) Alford. I simply can't take her book seriously, given the in depth knowledge of both JFK and his presidency, which has had volumes of revisionistic nonsense and misinformation written about it - - once an historic figure has been assassinated, the long knives of disinformation come out; on President Kennedy, on Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., on Bobby Kennedy, and on and on. (For alternate views: read "Mary's Mosaic" by Peter Janney, and David Talbot's "Brothers: Hidden History of the Kennedy Years".)

v
vollans
Jul 17, 2012

Such a good read! I couldn't put it down.

h
HopeButterfly
Jun 24, 2012

I have read many books on the Kennedys...books for and against.
I wasn't really surprised or put off with the author or this book.
It just is a horrible reminder of the down side of a great presidency.

Disgusting, shocking, sad book. Wish I had never picked it up.

t
TheSponge
Jun 19, 2012

This is actually a pretty sad yet entirely believable story. It's not exactly well written but definitely readable. In the end, the book shows how cruel men can be and how horribly power corrupts.
I felt a lot of emotion reading this book. Disgust,sympathy and shock. I'll certainly never look at JFK the same way again.

h
happycanuck
Jun 04, 2012

Believable & well-written

n
nutmeggish
May 24, 2012

I don't think the book was as bad thematically as some of these other reviews would suggest. My biggest qualm with the book was Alford's writing style and tendancy to jump from idea to idea in almost random order. It read like her stream of conciousness as opposed to a book, but that is what I expect from a non-writer memoirist. That being said, I did think her story was an important one to have told. Superficially, the book was about her affair with JFK (she was one of many, as many history books and biographies of JFK have attested). Upon digging deeper, the book becomes a testimony as to what was expected of women in the sixties, and what little power they had to control their own fate. Furthermore, the affair seemed to be an exercise in control for the president, and seemed to use her as a means of feeling powerful. Half of the book deals with the damage that the affair has inflicted on her ability to trust men, and reflected itself on her relationship with her first husband. Alford was a passive player in her own life due to her upbringing. However, towards the end, she discovers her voice and comes to terms with her mistakes. I don't believe she should be haunted by mistakes she had made as a nineteen year old, but I do think she should have a better copy editor if she ever chooses to write another book.

r
Rosie1
Apr 25, 2012

This book was extremely boring I am ashamed of myslef that I actually decided to give it a chance to read I have read an enormous amount of books on the Kennedy's as well Jaqueline, not certain what this woman was thinking or what she may think she would accomplish but I am certainly ashamed to have given my time up for it regardless if it be true or not after so many years she decides to write it ... trying to make a buck after being a closet slut for the President of the USA does not add up, my heart aches that JFK daughter Caroline or her children may have to hear of this trash ! Regardless do you really think a intelligent man such as JFK would trust a 19 year old when he has an intelligent wife and has had his prick of the crop ??? My advice let this book sit ont he shelves shame on her.

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