Jackie Kennedy is most often remembered as a beautiful and elegant First Lady with great taste in fashion, the Guinevere in the fable of an American Camelot. This is the main reason that tabloids have been salivating for decades over the epic seven-part interview with Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. recorded just a few months after President Kennedy's assassination in 1964 and meant to be embargoed until 50 years after Jackie's death. It's one of only three interviews the former First Lady gave after her husband's assassination, and excitement surged when news broke that Caroline Kennedy would release the interviews early, allegedly in order to stonewall the planned mini-series on the Kennedys starring Katie Holmes as Jackie. Caroline Kennedy now says the book is being released to coincide with the 50 year anniversary of her father's presidency. Regardless of the reasoning, the entire oral history--Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy--is scheduled to be released in book form with accompanying audio on Wednesday.
"Explosive" is the word most often used to describe what the unreleased Jackie Kennedy tapes would reveal. Last month, a volley of speculative reports suggested that the revelations may not be that explosive after all. So far, reports on the contents of the interview say nothing about her rumored affair with actor William Holden, but they do give us a glimpse of a sassier Jackie. New York magazine says that "Jackie O. would be perfect for reality TV" considering the extent to which the tapes portray her as a bit of a "backbiter," in Dan Amira's words. ABC News is hosting a two-hour special on the tapes that's so far highlighted how Jackie's admitting that the prospect of a Lyndon Johnson presidency made John F. Kennedy Jr. "worried for the country." The New York Times describes the interviews as "candid," noting that in the book's foreword Caroline Kennedy says her mother was in "the extreme stages of grief" when the interviews were conducted.