Mimi Alford Mimi Alford Quotes (Author of Once Upon a Secret)

Mimi Alford Mimi Alford Quotes (Author of Once Upon a Secret)

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Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath

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In ’62, Mimi Beardsley was a naive teen, a product of her class & time. She’d attended the same exclusive girls’ school as Jackie Bouvier, now installed in the White House as the first lady. Which is also where Mimi found herself, as an 18-year-old intern. JFK’s White House was a place for which she wasn’t remotely prepared, dominated by the charismatic & sexually
In ’62, Mimi Beardsley was a naive teen, a product of her class & time. She’d attended the same exclusive girls’ school as Jackie Bouvier, now installed in the White House as the first lady. Which is also where Mimi found herself, as an 18-year-old intern. JFK’s White House was a place for which she wasn’t remotely prepared, dominated by the charismatic & sexually rapacious figure of the president. Within four days, they’d started a relationship.
There are several extraordinary things about Mimi’s story. One is that she’d evaded notice from any of the biographers of JFK & other chroniclers of the heady days & sexual shenanigans of Camelot. Only by chance did a reporter in 2006 follow up a mention of her name in a JFK book, & doorstep her–a married NY grandmother–to find out whether she was the Mimi Beardsely mentioned in a passing reference. This is all the more surprising given the length of the affair–18 months–& the fact that it was ended only by his death.
Mimi Beardsley Alford has decided, after decades of silence & reflection, to tell her story. This is not just a memoir of a young woman of her generation & class coming of age in the 60s, & her relationship with JFK. She also examines the significance it had in her life & relationships since, why she chose to be silent for so long & why she feels this is the time to speak out.

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Hardcover, 198 pages
Published
February 8th 2012
by Random House


(first published October 19th 2010)

More Details…

Original Title
Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath

ISBN
1400069106
(ISBN13: 9781400069101)

Edition Language
English

  • Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath
  • Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath
  • Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath
  • Once upon a Secret
  • Stażystka. Mój romans z prezydentem Kennedym i jego skutki
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Popular Answered Questions
Did Jackie Kennedy know of this relationship before the death of her husband?

How was Mimi (a young girl) able to make secret a relationship with a world figure? Most young girls out of excitement will make it public. I like her courage. Associating with JFK is not a bad association.

  • 4 years ago

Joyce


I think that because of the times back then girls did not talk like they do now. They were raised to be more secretive as reputation was everything …more I think that because of the times back then girls did not talk like they do now. They were raised to be more secretive as reputation was everything and being a virgin was the most important. As for Jackie knowing I doubt that she could not have known. I think that back then men were so in control that she would have thought it was normal. She was also Catholic and I imagine that priests would have always been on the male’s side. After all look what we now know about how they all stuck together to blame the victims in the child abuse cases? (less)
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    Has anyone who read this book also read Ken Follett’s "Edge of Eternity", book 3 of the Century trilogy? Notice anything?
    I just co-incidentally read both books in the same week. Was JFK’s seduction routine THAT routine, or did Follett use this book as research?
    • 4 years ago

    Linda Hlasta


    I went to a lecture Follett gave right before The Edge of Eternity came out. He said he talked to Mimi Alford about this as a form of research. Since …more I went to a lecture Follett gave right before The Edge of Eternity came out. He said he talked to Mimi Alford about this as a form of research. Since her book had all ready been published it was in the public domain. Interesting lecture btw. The Freedom Rider section was fascinating. He took that trip on a bus like the characters.
    (less)

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      Lists with This Book

      Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill Robert Kennedy by Evan Thomas True Compass by Edward M. Kennedy Jackie, Ethel, Joan by J. Randy Taraborrelli Brothers by David Talbot

      Best Books About the Kennedy Family

      143 books

      121 voters

      The Wives of Henry VIII by Antonia Fraser Love and Louis XIV by Antonia Fraser The Paris Wife by Paula McLain Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

      The Woman behind the man

      57 books

      18 voters





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      Michelle

      Feb 11, 2012

      rated it
      liked it

      Shelves:
      2012 ,
      memoir

      I expected this to be a little more salacious. Mimi Beardsley was the original White House intern, in the Kennedy administration, and was basically outed a few years ago by the press. What most struck me about this memoir is, though she wrote it in her late 60s, it reads every bit the naïve 19 year old she was. I completely understood how and why things unfolded even if I was cringing on her behalf. Her nineteen year old self shines through in a most realistic way. It’s crazy how long she kept t
      I expected this to be a little more salacious. Mimi Beardsley was the original White House intern, in the Kennedy administration, and was basically outed a few years ago by the press. What most struck me about this memoir is, though she wrote it in her late 60s, it reads every bit the naïve 19 year old she was. I completely understood how and why things unfolded even if I was cringing on her behalf. Her nineteen year old self shines through in a most realistic way. It’s crazy how long she kept this a secret from the people she loved. And it’s crazy that JFK would call the communal phone in the dorm and ask for her and people had no idea.

      She is very discreet with what she shares. The sex scenes are no more descriptive than “he took his pants off and then we were done.” I didn’t really feel why she was so enamored of him (other than the obvious) and if there were sparks between the two they did not show up in here. The writing is almost too discreet, which is not to say she should’ve gone into physical details but it gave zero sense for the man JFK was behind closed doors and thus made their affair seem robotic and functional but not the least bit passionate. And maybe it was just that. In any case, a quick read.
      …more

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      Steven

      Mar 13, 2013

      rated it
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      There is a difference between reviewing a book and psycho-analyzing an author. But this book provokes me to blur that distinction.

      Characters in books are allowed to be three-dimensional and textured, as multi-layered as lasagna. But when a narrator’s approach to a character is unclear, when the narrator in fact vacillates between two opposing views, then the book will have problems. Is this a story of the mutual, tender love affair between the charming young President and the woman he was drawn
      There is a difference between reviewing a book and psycho-analyzing an author. But this book provokes me to blur that distinction.

      Characters in books are allowed to be three-dimensional and textured, as multi-layered as lasagna. But when a narrator’s approach to a character is unclear, when the narrator in fact vacillates between two opposing views, then the book will have problems. Is this a story of the mutual, tender love affair between the charming young President and the woman he was drawn to in a passionate, if ill-advised romance? Or is this a story about the Most Powerful Man in the world and the way he brutally forced himself on a confused, 19-year-old virgin?

      It is the latter.

      Alford is to be commended for not pulling punches in her description of her first encounter with Kennedy. Indeed, the best writing in the book may be the opening. The first ten pages are gripping, suspenseful, and free of any extraneous adornment. It reads as “Just the Facts, Ma’am.” It is an outstanding beginning.

      Unfortunately, even fifty years later, Alford remains ambivalent about her experience with Kennedy. Perhaps he is the only man she has worked for who uses his overwhelming gifts of charm and personality to abuse everyone around him. I have known and worked for several. It does take some getting used to–these kinds are such natural salesmen, they are accustomed to making everyone do things they do not want to do. But if you work for them day-in and day-out, the abuse, the dangerous malevolence lurking just beneath that winsome smile begins to come out.

      The title says this book is about keeping her secret and the damage it caused, and the healing that followed sharing it. And there is a story there. But the narrative is overwhelmed by a much larger story–President Kennedy forced himself on a half-drunk intern when he had barely had two or three conversations with her. It was memories of Kennedy that destroyed Alford’s later marriage–not her secret. It was Kennedy who forced her daughters to suffer through a broken home–not mom’s secret or dad’s understandable–if ridiculous–reaction to it. It is still Kennedy that has changed the course of the author’s entire life. I think she forgives the man, the beast, far too easily. There is a reason such men are called “wolves.”

      “Once Upon a Secret” brings to mind another odd title: “Once Upon a Mattress,” fitting perhaps, because that first encounter—on none other than Jackie’s mattress(!)-—seems to be the “pivot point,” on which so much turns. The author bluntly faces some of the hard truths about how JFK pushed her and manipulated her. But she always finds a way to defend him.

      Perhaps as a victim of a classic case of sexual harassment, conquest, rape (call it what you will), her mixed tone is forgivable. The Stockholm Syndrome is to be expected. John F. Kennedy was not only the President—-he was one of the biggest “rock stars” alive at the time, a charismatic celebrity perhaps rivaled only by Elvis Presley. Naturally being “singled out” by him was flattering on some level, and left the virginal 19-year-old unsure what to do next.

      But the mixed emotions of the narrator—her personal reaction—do nothing to soften the truth of this terrible injustice. Fifty years later, she continues to defend the President. She frets about hurting his image, she reports every kind gesture or tender moment they ever shared, as if struggling to remind us all how sweet he was.

      This dichotomy, this cognitive dissonance is even more problematic when this book is viewed as a story, as a “book” after all. The narrator endures this terrible thing, this crime that, were a few details changed, would never be tolerated. Forget the President. Imagine if your 19-year-old daughter took an internship at the local newspaper, was invited out for drinks with the fat, fifty-something editor-in-chief. After they coerce her into drinking not one but two daquiries, the old man gets her alone, leans her over on a convenient bed, and puts his hands under her dress, robbing her of her virginity in minutes.

      There are no grounds for mixed emotions. The encounter is 100% one-sided, unwelcome, and an absolute shock. The narrator’s odd reaction (helping him with her dress) does nothing to lessen the wickedness (it is not consent). He was the 45-year-old President of the Free World. She was not even twenty, a sheltered good girl from a girl’s school, never had had a boyfriend, had not even kissed a boy since eighth grade. If it were my daughter, there might never have been a “grassy knoll.” And yet, this victim vacillates, alternately reporting the abuse, then defending the abuser. In a book, this creates tone problems and incoherence. (Are you for him or against him? Is he the good guy or the bad guy? Who are we supposed to root for?) But I suspect this is exactly the sort of incoherence you have to live with when you are the young and powerless, nearly childlike victim or a powerful, admired (nearly parent-like) older abuser. Such a double mindedness should perhaps be expected in anyone victimized as Alford was.

      I am a lawyer, not a psychologist. But some have said serious abuse can leave you emotionally stuck at the age when it happened. When it comes to her reaction and continued defense of Kennedy, the author seems stuck in 1963. That is none of my business and beyond the scope of a book review, but it is the sort of impression her unyielding defense leaves. It reminds me of women who suffer domestic violence, but refuse to press charges, telling police they fell down the stairs and got that black eye.

      Again, the author suffered a terrible abuse. The confusion it left her with is just another part of it. Thousands of people can understand that weird and terrifying bond that connects the victim to the abuser. I only wish the author well. I enjoyed the book.
      …more

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      Skyring

      Feb 19, 2012

      rated it
      really liked it

      America was in love with JFK. Even those who hadn’t voted for him in 1960, many of whom selectively edited their memories after his death to say that they had. For 19 year old Mimi Beardsley, recruited as a summer intern following a fleeting meeting with the President, there was no chance.

      He literally tested the waters with her, inviting her to his regular lunchtime swim session and later giving her a private tour of the private areas of the White House, where she lost her virginity to JFK and b
      America was in love with JFK. Even those who hadn’t voted for him in 1960, many of whom selectively edited their memories after his death to say that they had. For 19 year old Mimi Beardsley, recruited as a summer intern following a fleeting meeting with the President, there was no chance.

      He literally tested the waters with her, inviting her to his regular lunchtime swim session and later giving her a private tour of the private areas of the White House, where she lost her virginity to JFK and began a two year affair with him.

      Mimi, now Alford rather than Beardsley after two marriages, thinks of herself as a footnote to a footnote of history, but I see her as more than this. She is, very literally, a paragraph in at least two biographies of those Camelot years, and with historians breathing down her neck until she was finally outed, forty five years later, she decided to go public with her own story.

      There are two intimate glimpses here in this book. Mimi looking back at her nineteen year old self, and her memories of the dashing young President. We see the innocent college student, excited to be invited to work in the White House press office, where merely changing the rolls on Pierre Salinger’s teletype machines was exciting. She worries about clothing, she dreams of interviewing Jackie, she makes friends with the staff.

      And she is seduced by the President. We see JFK as a charming predator, looking on 1960s Washington as a sexual smorgasbord, Mimi just one of many conquests. He’s a thoughtful lover, sometimes a little over-confident, sometimes distracted by events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis.

      His womenising is an open secret, particularly with Jackie, who loses count of her husband’s lovers. Her absence from the White House is a signal for Jack to replace her, for a few minutes or a night, and we gasp at his brazen behaviour as he recruits his staff and his brothers to move women around, sometimes in secret, sometimes under the noses of the press corps.

      Now, this is not the salacious behind the bedroom door book it could have been. The woman in her sixties telling the story reveals little about body parts and techniques. Instead she tells the story of the relationship, before and after Kennedy’s assassination, which is a turning point in her life and the beginning of a long and ultimately miserable marriage.

      She keeps her secret for decades, though it poisons her life,band when she finally tells a few close friends and family and then later shares it with the world, we share her sense of relief and catharsis. For one thing, she wants to set the record straight, correcting a few minor details, and she also wants to let the world know the devastating impact the affair had on her life.

      I find myself, rather than shocked or salacilised, cheering Mimi on whenever she stands up for herself. Poor woman, she’s gone through so much, she deserves a little love and understanding.

      Besides, I’ve always been more than a little in love with the charismatic young President myself, seduced by the legend.
      …more

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      Christie Bane

      Jan 06, 2013

      rated it
      it was amazing

      I totally, completely loved this book, much to my surprise. I picked it up looking for a tawdry thrill and haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

      Why? Here’s why.

      First of all, the author came off as someone who has done a ton of self-analysis and has really thought about what she did from every possible angle. She’s a well-educated and thoughtful person and the way she can honestly report her motivation for doing everything that she did, whether they put her in a good light or not, was impress
      I totally, completely loved this book, much to my surprise. I picked it up looking for a tawdry thrill and haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

      Why? Here’s why.

      First of all, the author came off as someone who has done a ton of self-analysis and has really thought about what she did from every possible angle. She’s a well-educated and thoughtful person and the way she can honestly report her motivation for doing everything that she did, whether they put her in a good light or not, was impressive. I don’t think there are that many people who really analyze their own actions and thoughts in any kind of objective way like she did.

      Second, everything she said about their relationship was totally and completely believable. I can picture her perfectly as a naive but smart and willing young intern in the white house. I believe everything she said — she loved JFK, but she never had any false illusions about the outcome of their affair. Both she and he handled the affair with class and propriety. I have read my share of JFK books and trust me, this book gives a perspective on him that you will not find anywhere else.

      Third, she did not write this for attention. She kept this secret for a long time. I think 40-something years. And when she did finally tell it, it was because the press dug it up and she was forced to deal with it again.

      Fourth, the most interesting part of this book was NOT the details of what she did with JFK, although that was certainly interesting. It was the way it affected her relationship with her husband. She told him about the affair when they were engaged and JFK was assassinated. He was appalled and told her he would still marry her but she could never speak of it again. That secret was at the center of their married life and it ate at it like a cancer until the marriage fell apart. That led me to think about the nature of secrets and how destructive they can be. I realized when I was 18 that when there is something that can’t be talked about between two people in a relationship that that relationship is essentially over. Oh, it might take a while for the house to fall down but I truly believe it will eventually. For her it took 20-something years.

      Secrets can be very destructive, but they can also be the catalysts for major personal growth.
      …more

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      Sally Wessely

      Jul 31, 2012

      added it

      Mimi Alford and I grew up during the same era, so I could relate to much of what she said about the times. She had the advantage of being a member of the social register that got her into the best schools and gave her access to jobs such as the one she had as a White House intern.

      I guess my thoughts about what I felt about the story she has to tell about her time as President Kennedy’s mistress could be summed up by my reaction to a photo of President Kennedy in today’s paper. The article that
      Mimi Alford and I grew up during the same era, so I could relate to much of what she said about the times. She had the advantage of being a member of the social register that got her into the best schools and gave her access to jobs such as the one she had as a White House intern.

      I guess my thoughts about what I felt about the story she has to tell about her time as President Kennedy’s mistress could be summed up by my reaction to a photo of President Kennedy in today’s paper. The article that went with the photo recounted how 50 years ago today, the President visited Pueblo, Colorado, as part of the Pan/Ark Project. I remember that day vividly. President Kennedy was the hero of my generation. We adored him. Never in my wildest dreams would I have suspected that he was accompanied by a young woman just one year older than I was at the time. Today, I thought of him in a totally different light. I saw him as someone who blatantly took advantage of a young woman. I see him as an emotionally compartmentalized person. I see him as one who used his power to exert his desires on others in ways that left years of emotional damage for those who fell under his power of charisma.

      The memoir is a good one in many ways. At times, I felt the story was told at a surface level. It seemed that the author did not dig as deeply into the ways that the affair affected her life as much as she revealed how the keeping of the secret affected her. Perhaps the two can never be separated.

      I admire Mimi Alford for telling her story. I admire her for trying to deal with the impact the secret held on her life. For a woman of my generation, I know she had much to overcome. We were raised in a different time. Secrets such as hers were not to be told. My guess is that President Kennedy was banking on that.
      …more

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      Cyndee Gero-moore

      Feb 11, 2012

      rated it
      it was amazing

      This was a quick read, only took a few hours, and I think you will find worth your time. This is, at its essense, the story of a woman taking nearly a lifetime to claim her power. It is also a story about a man’s egregious abuse of power toward a innocent 19 year old girl.

      She could have said no,you say. I challenge any woman who has ever been 19 years old, love and attention starved, and naiive of the ways of the world, to say Mimi Alford could have said no to the President of the United States
      This was a quick read, only took a few hours, and I think you will find worth your time. This is, at its essense, the story of a woman taking nearly a lifetime to claim her power. It is also a story about a man’s egregious abuse of power toward a innocent 19 year old girl.

      She could have said no,you say. I challenge any woman who has ever been 19 years old, love and attention starved, and naiive of the ways of the world, to say Mimi Alford could have said no to the President of the United States. It was not in her making to say no to anyone. And any of us women 50 or over really should understand, because growing up during those times, we know a good girl was taught not to say no, and to please at all costs. As did this young woman, which ultimately contributed to a peril she wasn’t aware of until many years later.

      Alford’s title is also interesting and true, as she refers to “the aftermath” of her affair with Kennedy, which colored all her relationships, and devastated her first marriage. Writing of this book is her catharsis.

      While this story of a older man overpowering a young girl is a common tale at its core, this one still had me a bit shocked, even after all we know about JFK’s infamous philandering. If I had any respect for this man, after reading this, it is now gone.

      I think all women will see little tidbits of their youthful self in Mimi Alford. A good and quick read!!!
      …more

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      Lisa

      Jun 15, 2012

      rated it
      it was ok

      Shelves:
      autiobiography

      I have to research more about “Mimi Alford”. Right now I’m feeling such conflicting emotions.
      * I’m sorry as a young adult being manipulated into being a mistress.
      * It’s clear she needed to find a voice, but not sure it needed to be writing a book.
      * Even with her caring a secret so long, why didn’t she just seek a therapist! Give me a break…
      * Ok, you had a sexual relationship with a President, but he’s gone “Mimi”. If you felt it was important to give your side, I agree you are just a footno

      I have to research more about “Mimi Alford”. Right now I’m feeling such conflicting emotions.
      * I’m sorry as a young adult being manipulated into being a mistress.
      * It’s clear she needed to find a voice, but not sure it needed to be writing a book.
      * Even with her caring a secret so long, why didn’t she just seek a therapist! Give me a break…
      * Ok, you had a sexual relationship with a President, but he’s gone “Mimi”. If you felt it was important to give your side, I agree you are just a footnote to a footnote.
      * I’m happy your family supported you, but why do you need “rest of the world” to soften your heart?
      * Ok, you had an unhappy marriage, but engaging “again” as an adulterous shouldn’t result in it being ok.
      * I do not excuse our 35th President, but he left a daughter who has yet another book as a reminder. Maybe you weren’t phased that you disrespected “our First Lady”, but you should apologize to their family.
      * It’s a joke to read how you rarely think about JFK, but didn’t have trouble retelling your affair. Seems you haven’t let go Mimi.
      * Finally, if you truly have integrity..take every dime of proceeds of this book and support causes that help young ladies empowering their self-esteem.
      ** For the record, I got this book from my local library. It will be right back on their shelf in a few short hours.

      …more

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      Marcy

      Jul 22, 2012

      rated it
      liked it

      Everyone old enough remembers where they were when President John F. Kennedy was fatally shot. I was twelve. When I was eleven, I remember sewing my Halloween costume on the Commonwealth Avenue mall when J.F.K. rode by in a convertible. The light was shining on his auburn hair. His smile was wide, his teeth so white. I remember thinking that he was the one of the most handsome men I had ever seen. Since then, I have been fascinated with “Camelot,” and the stories that have been revealed about th
      Everyone old enough remembers where they were when President John F. Kennedy was fatally shot. I was twelve. When I was eleven, I remember sewing my Halloween costume on the Commonwealth Avenue mall when J.F.K. rode by in a convertible. The light was shining on his auburn hair. His smile was wide, his teeth so white. I remember thinking that he was the one of the most handsome men I had ever seen. Since then, I have been fascinated with “Camelot,” and the stories that have been revealed about the president when it comes to infidelity.

      I was drawn to reading this book to learn just how a working president of the United States could easily get any woman he wanted. Mimi’s story tells all the facts the reader wants to know. Mimi was an innocent 19 year old intern, a virgin, who worked for Pierre Salinger at the White House. After working there less than a week, she became part of J.F.K’s “inner circle,” having been invited to the White House pool where J.F.K. went for daily swims to ease his back pain, meet his women, and for a year and a half, he and Mimi had a steady affair, at least twice a week. Most of the time they spent in J.F.K.’s bedroom, but then Mimi was invited to tour the country on weekends to be at the president’s beck and call. For their entire affair, Mimi called him Mr. President. Their time together was playful. Mimi also saw a side of the president that was not so kind…

      Their affair ended slowly, two weeks before J.F.K.’s death in Dallas, Texas. When Mimi learned of his death, she was in the car with her fiancee. Before they married, Mimi let go of her secret. This secret deeply affected her marriage to her first husband, to the negative. Her marriage ended over 25 years later…

      When Mimi was forced by a news article to give up her secret, she did so with relief. The events that followed allowed Mimi to have a voice and use her voice. This book must have been very cathartic for her to write. Mimi was an innocent who was taken in by a handsome, charismatic world leader.

      “Friends never hesitate to ask if I was in love with President Kennedy. My guarded answer has always been “I don’t think so.” But the truth is, “Of course I was.” This was one part hero worship, one part school girl crush, one part the thrill of being so close to power – and it was a potent, heady mix. Then there was the spike in my self-esteem that I felt whenever I was with him; I simply felt more alive – more special – in his company. But I want to be clear: I knew the situation. I knew that ours wasn’t a partnership of equals, and that my love would go unrequited. He was the leader of the free world, after all. The married leader of the free world. And I wasn’t even old enough to vote.”

      This is an honest memoir, written by a woman in her sixties, who remembers her youth with utmost clarity.
      …more

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      Farrah

      Apr 03, 2014

      rated it
      liked it

      Hmmmm, I have mixed feelings about this book. Obviously I finished it very quickly, which speaks to how interesting it was. But it was also disturbing.

      It WAS fascinating to have this insight into the President’s personal world and how things like having affairs with 19-year-old interns got started and continued for 1.5 years with no one apparently the wiser – or at least everyone choosing to ignore it or not acknowledge it publicly. You can’t help but be amazed considering the 24 hr. news cycle
      Hmmmm, I have mixed feelings about this book. Obviously I finished it very quickly, which speaks to how interesting it was. But it was also disturbing.

      It WAS fascinating to have this insight into the President’s personal world and how things like having affairs with 19-year-old interns got started and continued for 1.5 years with no one apparently the wiser – or at least everyone choosing to ignore it or not acknowledge it publicly. You can’t help but be amazed considering the 24 hr. news cycle we are on now wherein it would be INCREDIBLY difficult for a President to get away with as much philandering as JFK was doing. In that way, I think our current way of doing things is better. I don’t believe a President deserves to be enabled to do things like cheat on his wife and have them kept totally secret by the media and those close to him.

      BUT, as fascinating as her story was (and sometimes sickening), this author is a fairly unlikeable/unrelatable person. While I respect that she kept this a secret for as long as she did and never tried to cash in on it until she was exposed, I thought it was exceedingly odd and off-putting that she says SEVERAL times in the book that she felt no guilt about anything she did, and still doesn’t and that she never once thought about Jackie or the kids or that maybe this was a bad choice. Oh and btw, she was actually engaged to her future husband for part of the time that she was still sleeping with the President…so just maybe not the best moral compass here altogether…

      She makes a big point to stand by her choices and claim that she wouldn’t change anything and that there was nothing else she could have done as a 19-year-old virgin but succumb to the wiles of an attractive man who was also the most powerful man in the world. And while we’ve all done some dumb things as teenagers and I certainly don’t think she tried to seduce the President or anything, I guess I was very surprised and put off by the fact that now, as an adult looking back on those years, she still does not feel any regret or guilt for having a long-term affair with a President who was also a married man with children. She still seems to look back on this as a really special magical time in her life, with none of the wisdom or learning that one hopefully gains with age.
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      Beth

      May 14, 2013

      rated it
      liked it

      Ick, ick, ick. If you don’t want to be disgusted by JFK, then don’t read this book. ICK!

      The book is an easy read, but everything about it is disturbing: JFK’s behavior, the behavior of his aides, but most of all, the disturbing retrospective account of this 70-year old woman who, even with 50 years’ distance, thinks that JFK did nothing wrong. She’s pretty delusional, not only excusing and justifying what is essentially multiple episodes of rape, but in believing that she and JFK shared an “inti
      Ick, ick, ick. If you don’t want to be disgusted by JFK, then don’t read this book. ICK!

      The book is an easy read, but everything about it is disturbing: JFK’s behavior, the behavior of his aides, but most of all, the disturbing retrospective account of this 70-year old woman who, even with 50 years’ distance, thinks that JFK did nothing wrong. She’s pretty delusional, not only excusing and justifying what is essentially multiple episodes of rape, but in believing that she and JFK shared an “intimate” relationship, and had he survived, they would have been good friends.

      While I remain suspicious as to just how “intimate” their relationship never was (I won’t provide a spoiler that pretty well addresses it), one thing is very clear: this is the sad story of a woman who was used and abused by JFK, went on to have a miserable marriage with someone who was probably not much different, and writes about it now with the apologetic tone of someone who continues to make excuses for the bullies in her life.

      A fascinating read for a number of reasons, but most fascinating isn’t JFK’s vile behaviour, but the lack of perspective of the author.
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      Ivy

      Apr 21, 2012

      rated it
      really liked it

       · 
      review of another edition

      Shelves:
      history-biography-memoirs-nonfictio

      In 1962, 19 year-old Mimi Beardsley landed a summer job as intern in the White House. Her job in the press room was to sit at a desk, file things away, and cut press tape before it landed on the ground. It was an easy job just fit for a teen to do…except eventually part of her responsibilities included sleeping with President JFK. So begins Mimi’s memoir of how a 19 year-old virgin began a sexual affair with the most powerful man in the United States.

      Ms. Alford’s honest account of that year in
      In 1962, 19 year-old Mimi Beardsley landed a summer job as intern in the White House. Her job in the press room was to sit at a desk, file things away, and cut press tape before it landed on the ground. It was an easy job just fit for a teen to do…except eventually part of her responsibilities included sleeping with President JFK. So begins Mimi’s memoir of how a 19 year-old virgin began a sexual affair with the most powerful man in the United States.

      Ms. Alford’s honest account of that year in the White House is very refreshing. She blames no one but herself for saying yes to the President but she should cut herself some slack. She was used mercilessly by a man who should have restrained himself when he realized he was dealing with an innocent and very naive young woman. But no, JFK’s ego and sense of entitlement knew no bounds. She honestly didn’t think she had a choice and thought she might lose her job. How sad is that?

      For nearly 40 years Mimi kept her affair a secret until the press outed her and she felt she had no choice but to own up to it and write her own book to set the record straight. This isn’t about making a buck, as some cynical reviewers have mentioned. It’s about making sure the truth, and not some skewed repoter’s version, is made known to the public. Mimi does it on her terms and with as much grace and dignity as she can. The past shaped who she is today. As Mimi states so eloquently, your choices, good and bad, make you who you are. If you are able to learn the lessons that each experience brings you, personal growth is your reward.

      I commend Ms. Alford for having the courage to finally tell her story and, in doing so, laying the burden of the past to rest.
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      Erin Lenihan

      Jan 30, 2013

      rated it
      really liked it

      I was quite surprised by some of the low review ratings of this book. I really found it interesting and I believed every single word of the story. I also learned a lot from the book in terms of a presidency that took place before my time. Many reviewers were turned off by the lack of juicy sexual details however I don’t think the author wrote the book to divulge those details but moreso to give herself some sort of healing from hiding a secret for so long and to really paint a picture of how tha
      I was quite surprised by some of the low review ratings of this book. I really found it interesting and I believed every single word of the story. I also learned a lot from the book in terms of a presidency that took place before my time. Many reviewers were turned off by the lack of juicy sexual details however I don’t think the author wrote the book to divulge those details but moreso to give herself some sort of healing from hiding a secret for so long and to really paint a picture of how that secret affected her life in many ways after the fact. I really sensed the authors 19 year old innocence and her inability to turn away the most powerful man in the country at the time who also happened to be extremely handsome. I do not blame her for her actions but try to put myself in her shoes and decide what I would have done in her situation. I can’t say it would have been any different. I recently watched an interview with Mimi Alford and what I found most interesting was what she said when asked, “what would she have done differently if she could”. I had half expected her to say something like, “I never would have slept with the president.” But what she said was, “I would have told my parents because I think they would have come to accept it and I feel as though they died without ever knowing everything about me.” Those words have stuck with me and for that I give her credit for her honesty and courage to tell her story to the world.
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      Jaime Boler

      Feb 13, 2012

      rated it
      it was ok

      Once upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath by Mimi Alford (Random House; 208 pages; $25).

      Mimi Alford’s story is almost too unbelievable to be true. If her account had not been part of the historical record, I would discount it as fiction; yet, what Ms. Alford claimed happened did happen. Sometimes truth is wilder than fiction.

      Ms. Alford had a secret affair with President John F. Kennedy.

      But, in 2003, the jig was up. In that year, the famed historian Robert
      Once upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath by Mimi Alford (Random House; 208 pages; $25).

      Mimi Alford’s story is almost too unbelievable to be true. If her account had not been part of the historical record, I would discount it as fiction; yet, what Ms. Alford claimed happened did happen. Sometimes truth is wilder than fiction.

      Ms. Alford had a secret affair with President John F. Kennedy.

      But, in 2003, the jig was up. In that year, the famed historian Robert Dallek wrote An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963. Dallek came across an oral history conducted by a woman who once worked in the White House. The aide was Barbara Gamarekian, and she had a lot to say about the president’s extra-marital relations with the opposite sex. The details were too juicy for Dallek to resist. When Dallek listed women JFK had affairs with, a “tall, slender, beautiful” college sophomore and White House intern was included. She was not named outright in the book. Staff hinted she was not in her position due to her skills: “She couldn’t type.”

      Not long after the publication of An Unfinished Life, members of the press dug up details and they discovered the girl’s identity. The secret was out. From 1962 to 1963, Marion (Mimi) Beardsley had an affair with the world’s most powerful man.

      Before the affair is discussed, I must mention how Ms. Alford was awarded a coveted White House internship. She attended Miss Porter’s, an elite boarding school for girls, the same school Jackie Kennedy attended, and wrote for the school’s student newspaper, the Salmagundy. Since she wanted to be a journalist, she decided to request an interview with Mrs. Kennedy for the paper. Mrs. Kennedy declined, but her social secretary, Letitia Baldridge, who also attended Miss Porter’s, asked if Ms. Alford might instead interview her. Ms. Alford accepted and went to the White House. While she was there, she met the president.

      Ms. Alford must have made quite an impression on JFK. At nineteen, she was offered a White House internship, yet she never even applied. Family connections played no part in the offering: her parents were staunch Republicans.

      Ms. Alford began her internship in June 1962. On her fourth day in the White House, Ms. Alford was invited to take a dip in the White House swimming pool by Dave Powers, one of the president’s closest aides. Several people swam that day, including the president.

      That night, Powers invited her to a party in the residence. JFK personally escorted her on a tour. While showing her where the first lady slept, he initiated sexual intercourse. Ms. Alford had been a virgin and was very naïve in the ways of men like the president. Looking back on her first sexual encounter with JFK, Ms. Alford writes, “I wouldn’t describe what happened that night as making love. But I wouldn’t call it nonconsensual, either.”

      The affair continued. Mrs. Kennedy was gone that summer with her children; the president was often conveniently alone. Ms. Alford often spent the night in the residence, in full view of Secret Service agents and staff. Everyone turned a blind eye, even when she arrived at work in the same clothes she had worn the day before.

      The liaison continued when Ms. Alford returned to college in the fall. The president called her in her dorm, using the code “Michael Carter.”

      While the affair was ongoing, Ms. Alford was with the president during some important events. She stood by his side in the residence as he called up the National Guard to Ole Miss and during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Perhaps she relieved him of stress? It is just unbelievable the things she witnessed.

      Ms. Alford shows how complicated and complex a man JFK could be. He was light-hearted and joking one minute while in the next he told Ms. Alford to administer oral sex to Powers in the White House pool. Kennedy never used condoms. Sure enough, Ms. Alford believed she was pregnant and told the president. He handed off the ball to Powers, who gave her the name and number of an abortion clinic. She never had the procedure as she started her period a few days later. But neither JFK nor Powers ever mentioned it again. At a party at Bing Crosby’s, JFK forced Ms. Alford to inhale a drug that was purported to enhance sex. After taking it, her heart raced and she was terrified. Powers comforted her, not the president. There are many other instances like these. They seem to be a pattern.

      Ms. Alford returned to the White House during the summer of 1963. Soon, though, the affair petered out. Mrs. Kennedy gave birth prematurely that summer, and the baby died, taking a toll on both husband and wife. Also, Ms. Alford got engaged to her boyfriend of eight months, Tony Fahnestock.

      She last saw JFK November 15, 1963, in New York City, where he gave her three hundred dollars to buy something special for herself. She was supposed to accompany the president to Dallas the following week. Plans changed, though, when Mrs. Kennedy decided to go along with her husband.

      The assassination shocked Ms. Alford. Her fiancé noticed. Burdened by the secret for so long and overcome on that particular day, Ms. Alford confessed to him. He was absolutely livid. I wonder what he was angrier about–that his fiancé had premarital sex or that she had sex with the president. Apparently, Fahnestock worried he would not be able to measure up. After they went to bed (in separate rooms), Fahnestock came to her bedroom, pulled the covers back, and got in. He had sex with her that night, almost to erase JFK from her body and mind, Ms. Alford believed. It was almost as if he was laying claim to her.

      Fahnestock forbid her to talk about her affair with JFK. That was a condition for their marriage to go through. She complied. Ms. Alford writes that for thirteen years they had a good marriage. But it was doomed from the start. They divorced in 1990. She married Dick Alford in 2005.

      Until 2003, Ms. Alford had only told her secret to a few people. Then, Dallek’s book was released and she could no longer keep silent. With Once upon a Secret, Ms. Alford is finally able to tell her story on her own terms and in her own words. I admire her for that, even though this reads like a tabloid and is not well-written. Yet, the book has great value.

      JFK surrounded himself with too many yes-men, men who were blindly devoted to him, men who thought he could do no wrong. Camelot is a myth that has long since been shattered. Kennedy had power and he loved to lord that authority over women, especially.

      I am not disputing that he was a good president. I believe he was one of the nation’s best. This book tarnishes his reputation (yet again) but not the office of the president.

      President’s Day is Monday. Let’s try to always separate the office from the man. Maybe then we will be less disappointed when things like Watergate, Iran-Contra, and Monica happen.

      Presidents are men (so far) first and foremost. They are not gods or superheroes. Like us, they make mistakes. We must remember that. Even presidents dress one leg at a time.


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      Susan Albert

      May 19, 2018

      rated it
      it was amazing

      Shelves:
      memoir ,
      history ,
      women-s-issues

      Read this for Story Circle’s reading circle–it provoked much discussion and deep interest, especially in light of the current #MeToo national conversation. An important book about the seductive power of celebrity and the corrosive power of secrets.

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      Katherine

      May 19, 2017

      rated it
      it was ok

      Shelves:
      adult ,
      memoir ,
      nonfiction

      “I kept this secret with near religious discipline for more than forty years. I never told my parents, or my children. I assumed it would stay my secret until I died.

      It didn’t.”

      Before reading the book, I highly suggest for those who are interested to watch Meredith Viera’s interview with Mimi Alford, as you might gain an entirely new perspective on her narrative. I did, and it changed my whole outlook not only on the situation but the author behind it.

      From 1962-1963, nineteen year old Mimi Alf

      “I kept this secret with near religious discipline for more than forty years. I never told my parents, or my children. I assumed it would stay my secret until I died.

      It didn’t.”

      Before reading the book, I highly suggest for those who are interested to watch Meredith Viera’s interview with Mimi Alford, as you might gain an entirely new perspective on her narrative. I did, and it changed my whole outlook not only on the situation but the author behind it.

      From 1962-1963, nineteen year old Mimi Alford, a White House intern and college student, had a secret eighteen month long affair with President John F. Kennedy. For more than forty years, she kept that affair a secret until a Kennedy biographer outed her in 2003. She couldn’t deny it, so she chose to write about it instead. In her memoir, she details her happy but sheltered childhood, the torrid affair, and the aftermath the affair had on her marriage and relationships afterwards.

      It’s absolutely no secret that JFK was a womanizer.

      “He was no doubt a charmer, a seducer, an insatiable lothario, as I and eventually everyone else would learn, each in their own time, some more quickly than others.”

      For all his greatness and larger than life legacy he left behind, he wasn’t an angel. However, there are two camps that exist today in their beliefs about him; one that completely worships the ground he walks on and one that thinks he’s a complete cad. This book will probably enrage the former and be met with gleeful smirks in the latter half. There are so many women who claim to have affairs with JFK that it’s hard to tell who’s credible or not anymore. I found Mrs. Alford to be a credible witness, especially if you watch her interview. There are details in her oral and written accounts that only someone who had been there firsthand would know.

      For those readers who are looking for juicy, salacious details about their sexual encounters akin to a Harlequin romance novel, you’ve come to the wrong place (I would suggest The Blonde to satisfy your cravings). She gives none of those types of details in the book, preferring more to talk about JFK’s personality, quirks, charms, and demons. I don’t know if you’ll come out of this memoir thinking of JFK in a different light, but in describing some certain details about her encounters with him, you might just think that. And more than that, it’s a melancholy study about unrequited love that, I believe still persists.

      In reading this book and watching the interview, I came to a sad, melancholy conclusion about Mrs. Alford; despite all her assertions in the book and on air on how she’s moved on past the affair and has gotten over it, I don’t believe her. It’s clear in a very sad way that she still is, in some sense, that same nineteen year old girl who still has unrequited love for a man who couldn’t and wouldn’t love her back.

      “People never hestitate to ask me if I was in love with the President. My guarded answer has always been, ‘I don’t know.’ But the truth is, ‘Of course I was.’ This was one part hero worship, one part crush, one part the thrill of being so close to power- and it was a potent, heady mix. But I want to be clear: I knew the situation. I knew ours wasn’t a partnership of equals, and my love would go unrequited.”

      Just the way she writes about him shows that she holds him up into a godlike stance that no one before or since will ever be able to achieve. And that’s probably why after the affair ended she kind of went on a self-destructive path of ruining relationships; she wanted what was lost to her.

      The book dragged in the final act, which described the aftermath. The first two acts were done rather well, even if the narration was a bit dry. There’s a lot of her talking about how incredibly naïve she was, and how that helped her excuse some of JFK’s more questionable behaviors. I still think she’s kind of in a state of denial, hence the low rating. If this book was meant to be a sort of redemption and relief to her, I don’t think it achieved that objective. Instead, it made me sorry for the naïve girl she was and still clings to today.
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      Laura

      Feb 23, 2012

      rated it
      did not like it

      Shelves:
      yuck ,
      memoir ,
      kennedy-for-me

      This was trash. I’ve read so many reviews in magazines, on Amazon, on Goodreads, that proclaim this memoir evidence of President Kennedy as a sexual predator, portraying Mimi Alford as a defenseless rape victim. Well, I found this book very dubious for many reasons. First, why write this at all? What is she trying to accomplish by telling the world she slept with JFK? Seriously! Second, I find it interesting that she would publish this in 2012, given it is both an election year with a Democratic
      This was trash. I’ve read so many reviews in magazines, on Amazon, on Goodreads, that proclaim this memoir evidence of President Kennedy as a sexual predator, portraying Mimi Alford as a defenseless rape victim. Well, I found this book very dubious for many reasons. First, why write this at all? What is she trying to accomplish by telling the world she slept with JFK? Seriously! Second, I find it interesting that she would publish this in 2012, given it is both an election year with a Democratic incumbent and the fiftieth anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Odd, isn’t it?

      I found a few of her comments rather questionable, creating a rather weak ethos and weakening her credibility. First, she talks about how, prior to being caught, she used to go to bookstores and skim parts of Kennedy biographies “just for fun” (her words, not mine) to relive the years when she worked at the White House. I found “fun” an odd choice of words, to say the least, and saw this attitude continued throughout her little sexual tell-all. She insists the first time she had sex with JFK was consensual because, after he kissed her and unbuttoned her shirt, she tore off her shirt for him and undid her skirt. The entire memoir has this same presentation; she describes how handsome, sweet, and caring the president was, and maintains how much “fun” she got from sleeping with him. She swears she felt “thrilled” (again, her words and not mine) by feeling desired, especially desired by the President of the United States. This irritated me for many reasons, the main being how credible is this woman and her supposed “guilt” over the affair if she refers to it as “thrilling,” “fun,” and “exciting”? How much of this is to be believed when this lady seems to delight in rehashing sordid details, presenting them as sexy? One has to question this woman’s motives given the way this is written, among other things.

      There’s also a huge contrast here between what she says and what she did. She writes over and over that she was a “good, innocent girl” and she was always “brought up to do the right thing,” yet she willingly performed fellatio on Dave Powers just because JFK supposedly suggested Powers “looked like he needed to relax.” Um, what? She also says she always knew she could say no, but didn’t. If she was aware of this and knew it was an option, then why didn’t she say no? She writes in the beginning that she does not regret one thing she did, which is interesting. The whole tone of the book is narcissistic and reads more as a long-winded brag session: “I had sex with JFK and it was HOT” is basically her tone. She doesn’t really acknowledge any remorse or guilt; her problem is that she chose to keep it secret. And even then I don’t really buy how burdensome this supposedly was to her. I think she enjoyed the entire affair, but was afraid of others seeing her as a tramp. Now she writes about it and makes money in addition to humiliating JFK’s surviving relatives. What an ass.

      I have no sympathy for this lady. This book was trashy, silly, and a complete waste of time.
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      Alyssa

      May 10, 2012

      rated it
      liked it

       · 
      review of another edition

      This memoir is well-written and offers a few shocking turns to wonder at (mostly the speed with which JFK completed his “seduction,” the extent of the author’s willing participation in a relationship that was by turns exploitative and demeaning, and the troubling timing and aftermath of her confession to her then-fiancé). Ultimately, however, Once Upon a Secret proves more irritating than moving because Mimi Alford’s eventual self-actualization ends up being so–well, irritating. She seems to ha
      This memoir is well-written and offers a few shocking turns to wonder at (mostly the speed with which JFK completed his “seduction,” the extent of the author’s willing participation in a relationship that was by turns exploitative and demeaning, and the troubling timing and aftermath of her confession to her then-fiancé). Ultimately, however, Once Upon a Secret proves more irritating than moving because Mimi Alford’s eventual self-actualization ends up being so–well, irritating. She seems to have veered from someone who had no ability to stand up for herself to someone who sees her own opinions and emotions as vastly more important than anyone else’s. For instance, she has an affair with a running buddy before ending her first marriage. Her fist-pumping moment of triumph comes when she rudely snaps at a date who has the audacity to talk about himself and order food even though she is only having coffee. And while she and her current husband are dating and he dares to arrange a weekend getaway without repeatedly taking her emotional temperature, she tells him off for being “so absorbed in dazzling me that he forgot about how I was feeling.”

      I’m deeply disturbed by the way President Kennedy abused a gross power inequality to take advantage of a naive nineteen year old girl. Young Mimi Beardsley never stood a chance against a man who had the means, the authority and the experience to rob her of any ability to object. But I agree with TC’s earlier review when he writes,”Maybe I should give her a pass and say, this was what happened when she was damaged by this affair at such a young age. But maybe it happened in the first place because she never really thought of anyone but herself then, now, or at any time in-between.” I was hoping this would be the story of a woman who came to grips with her own youthful exploitation by becoming a stronger, wiser person. Instead, it appears she’s merely given her egocentricity free rein.
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      Robbin

      Jul 16, 2012

      rated it
      it was ok

      A blurb detailing how JFK had the author, a 19-year-old White House intern, perform oral sex on his right-hand man while he watched is what prompted me to grab this book. If you’re looking for more titillating sexual accountings between Ms. Alford and JFK, read no further. There aren’t anymore juicy snippets. Sadly, the bulk of this autobio delves into the connections and relationships of the East Coast jet setters and the numerous trips Ms. Alford made with JFK to various locations. The final t
      A blurb detailing how JFK had the author, a 19-year-old White House intern, perform oral sex on his right-hand man while he watched is what prompted me to grab this book. If you’re looking for more titillating sexual accountings between Ms. Alford and JFK, read no further. There aren’t anymore juicy snippets. Sadly, the bulk of this autobio delves into the connections and relationships of the East Coast jet setters and the numerous trips Ms. Alford made with JFK to various locations. The final third of the book is about Ms. Alford’s self-discovery and failed marriage/scant relationships. Not until she is 60 does she find her lifemate which she seemingly hints is due to her decades-long kept secret about her affair with JFK. I blame her parents…clearly she did not get the physical/emotional love she needed from her parents and sadly, it took her a whole lifetime to almost put two and two together. Ms. Alford makes no apologies for sleeping with JFK and she makes no bones about cheating on her then-boyfriend/fiance or the second time she cheated on said person. For all her “self discovery,” Ms. Alford does not come off as a very nice person. The excuse to engage in infidelity is never enough for there is none. So, in a nutshell, if you’re looking, as I was, to read about intimate details about JFK’s sex life and all its tawdry business, pass this up.
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      Antoinette Perez

      Jul 07, 2012

      rated it
      really liked it

      I’d read a review of this book a month or two ago, so when a copy called to me from the library shelf, I answered. And I’m glad I did.

      Don’t think there’s much to spoil here. The subtitle kind of gives it all away. This book is pretty much everything I like a memoir to be: emotional but not overly sentimental; generous with detail that provides context but not gratuitously long; provoking but not salacious. And it’s mighty conversational. I am impressed at the ease the author has in her own voic
      I’d read a review of this book a month or two ago, so when a copy called to me from the library shelf, I answered. And I’m glad I did.

      Don’t think there’s much to spoil here. The subtitle kind of gives it all away. This book is pretty much everything I like a memoir to be: emotional but not overly sentimental; generous with detail that provides context but not gratuitously long; provoking but not salacious. And it’s mighty conversational. I am impressed at the ease the author has in her own voice. I can imagine her telling the story in the exact words she wrote it, and it feels incredibly personal.

      It’s clear to me that the author wrote the book as part of a healing process she began when she first confided in someone about her affair — each time she told the story, it had less power over her. I don’t know her personally, and still I hope that she has found more peace after publishing this book, despite what the haters have to say about her “true motives”, “questionable character”, etc.

      A gem I am sure to quote often: “When someone listens to you, they may not realize it but they’re giving you a great gift: They’re making room for your voice.” (She must have known that writing this book was making room in the halls of JFK lore for her voice, right?)
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      Linda Appelbaum

      Oct 09, 2012

      rated it
      it was amazing

      This book was so disturbing on so many levels, yet fascinating! Mimi was only 19 and on the job for a couple of days when she was completely seduced by JKF. It was shattering to see that he seduced so young and naieve a young girl. What was more shocking was that he offered her to other men to “take care of them”. She was really almost a prostitute and the men around JFK were like his pimps! This girl was so innocent, but we all were then. Her story made me feel uncomfortable and reminded me of
      This book was so disturbing on so many levels, yet fascinating! Mimi was only 19 and on the job for a couple of days when she was completely seduced by JKF. It was shattering to see that he seduced so young and naieve a young girl. What was more shocking was that he offered her to other men to “take care of them”. She was really almost a prostitute and the men around JFK were like his pimps! This girl was so innocent, but we all were then. Her story made me feel uncomfortable and reminded me of some utterly stupid things I did when I was young, so I could not blame her for her affair. She was taken advantage of and back in the 60’s our mothers parented us so differently from moms today. We didn’t talk to our mothers about feelings, relationships and so on. We were taught to behave and that was it. Read this book, especially if you have daughters or if you aren’t sure how to stand up for yourself. It’s a good book, it will make you think – way into the night!
      …more

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      Chuck

      Jun 07, 2018

      rated it
      really liked it

      Shelves:
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      autobiography ,
      history ,
      owned ,
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      review

      I have no idea why I read this book. Maybe it is that I grew up in the age of Camelot and that it concerns one of the most memorable days of my life. But still it is about a young teenager that was seduced willingly by the most powerful man in the world. In spite of that I have always been put off by expose and pulp magazine trash. That was my mind set as I entered my reading of this book.

      The story is one of a nineteen year New England girl who was raised knowing the importance of what order her
      I have no idea why I read this book. Maybe it is that I grew up in the age of Camelot and that it concerns one of the most memorable days of my life. But still it is about a young teenager that was seduced willingly by the most powerful man in the world. In spite of that I have always been put off by expose and pulp magazine trash. That was my mind set as I entered my reading of this book.

      The story is one of a nineteen year New England girl who was raised knowing the importance of what order her family got off of the Mayflower. It was further encouraged that she attended certain sequestered boarding schools and colleges and that she chose only friends from that social realm. So as a young high school grad she was invited to the White House to work as an intern on the Press Secretary staff and by the fourth day lost her virginity to the president of the United States. This affair lasted for eighteen months and took her all over the country and parts of the world until the fateful day in Dallas when the world changed for most of us that endured it. So this does sound like an expose, but really that is where the story starts.

      There is no anger with Mimi. She dealt with the problems that arose in her personal life and takes complete accountability for her bad decisions and to be truthful, there were many. The story outlines how and how long it took her to come to peace with herself. Where many are blessed to know the right things to do from birth, and more commonly many of us make a number of dumb life changing decisions for several decades, it took Mimi sixty years and the elegance of this story is that it happened at all. The book is eloquently and insightfully written. It’s details are kindly shared without anger, blame or regret. If you need a few of the intimate details, they are also included, however this is a book of redemption, inspiration, and taking control of your life.
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      Erin

      Feb 20, 2013

      rated it
      it was ok

      I listened to this on CD commuting to a weekly class and part of my problem admittedly was the affectation and drama that the narrator (who was not the author) added to almost every sentence.

      With regard to the content, I gather from some of the reviews that there are readers who are irritated that this book was written and consider it an unnecessary taint on JFK’s legacy. Others seem to think it is positive that this story was told as an example of a powerful man using his power to take advanta
      I listened to this on CD commuting to a weekly class and part of my problem admittedly was the affectation and drama that the narrator (who was not the author) added to almost every sentence.

      With regard to the content, I gather from some of the reviews that there are readers who are irritated that this book was written and consider it an unnecessary taint on JFK’s legacy. Others seem to think it is positive that this story was told as an example of a powerful man using his power to take advantage of a 19 year old girl.
      I don’t really have an opinion as to whether the book should or shouldn’t have been written. I certainly think its the author’s right to tell her story. But while this would have made an interesting extended magazine article, there just wasn’t enough to sustain an entire book. It’s a memoir of a woman’s entire life in some respects but which hinges almost entirely on an 18 month affair with JFK when she was a teenager. While I expected that to be the focus, I did not expect everything that happened to her after to be so tied to that event – her failed marriage is essentially blamed on this; meeting her second husband comes about because of the press coverage of this affair.

      As a friend who reviewed this said, in the telling of the affair, you felt as if the story was being recounted by the 19 year old version of herself. And while you wished she made different choices, you came back to the fact that she was 19 after all. Neither she nor JFK come across well or likable. Despite her protestations to the contrary throughout, I saw zero appeal of this man even as she tried to describe him flatteringly. I couldn’t understand it before and now I really don’t get it. And how in the world could he have found time to have so many affairs simultaneously while being President? He had time to swim with the pretty girls at lunch every day and seemingly had a different girl every night.

      But following the description of the affair, I literally found myself yelling out to the author in the car in frustration. She just never seemed to move on from this. Why oh why did she not see a therapist and work some of this out? And she seemingly kept breaking promises made and justifying them. It just seemed like she could not get over this whole experience as the defining moment of her life and it was hard and frustrating to witness. I had a difficult time finishing it because I was so irritated with her before it was over.
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      Heather Kelly

      Dec 16, 2015

      rated it
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      Honestly, I feel angry as I finish this book. I’m trying to figure out exactly why and it is possible I am being really unfair. From the start, I thought it would be her story of sexual harassment or abuse of women in the 60s to some extent. She was young and felt powerless. It was a different time. But, I think my anger increased with each description she gave that sounded like admiration of the situation. Years later, after time to reflect, it sounds as if she defends his actions and cherishes
      Honestly, I feel angry as I finish this book. I’m trying to figure out exactly why and it is possible I am being really unfair. From the start, I thought it would be her story of sexual harassment or abuse of women in the 60s to some extent. She was young and felt powerless. It was a different time. But, I think my anger increased with each description she gave that sounded like admiration of the situation. Years later, after time to reflect, it sounds as if she defends his actions and cherishes moments like rubber ducks in the bath tub or giving hair treatments. Those memories make me want to vomit.

      As a young girl, I took actions that make me feel ashamed or pathetic when I think of them now. At the time I didn’t know any better so I don’t blame myself and I’m proud that as I aged I learned to stand up for myself. But, I still look back on those moments and wish I would have had more self-respect. Mimi talks about the burden of this secret her whole life and talks of how she eventually works on restoring her emotional health. However, in the same book she talks fondly of JFK as if she wasn’t traumatized by any part of the affair. As if the only sadness in the entire secret is that she missed out on getting to tell it sooner (almost as if it were something to brag about) and that she wasn’t more significant in JFK’s life. Even though she claims she is aware of his other mistresses, she seems to think she was very important to him. She talks of his ability to compartmentalize. Sure, a necessary trait for a lot of careers. But, his compartmentalized time with her seemed twisted and sick. I don’t care who he was, the behavior is not justified. He didn’t need her to take care of him. Gross.

      Maybe she’s worried that if she bashes him, she will get more backlash than she can handle. If that is the case, then so much for her finding her ability to stand up for herself. I’m angry it happened to her and she was understandably powerless to stop it. I’m more angry that she never really mentions that she felt used or that the situation was harmful to her. It makes me question her mental state when writing the book and her outlook on life in general. I think my nausea hit its peak when she wrote about the death of her first child and stated “Even in my grief, I appreciated the coincidence.” What the hell? Such a sick statement to make.
      …more

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      Book Club Mom

      Sep 21, 2013

      rated it
      liked it

      An Affair to Remember?

      I wonder how long it will take me to be able to resist the lure of yet another tale about JFK? I was pulled into Mimi Alford’s trap and her attractive book jacket, showing a young Mimi Beardsley in her proper dress and clutch purse and I admit I opened her book and read.

      Hmmmmm. The motivation of the memoir writer. Mimi Alford says she was “outed” by another author and felt she must set the record straight and tell her own story. Okay. But what I came away with was the feeli
      An Affair to Remember?

      I wonder how long it will take me to be able to resist the lure of yet another tale about JFK? I was pulled into Mimi Alford’s trap and her attractive book jacket, showing a young Mimi Beardsley in her proper dress and clutch purse and I admit I opened her book and read.

      Hmmmmm. The motivation of the memoir writer. Mimi Alford says she was “outed” by another author and felt she must set the record straight and tell her own story. Okay. But what I came away with was the feeling that Mimi Beardsley’s relationship with President Kennedy was not the affair she claims it to have been, but something quite different, with JFK calling the shots.

      Being a nineteen-year-old ingénue and being pursued by the President of the United States was, for certain, an overwhelming situation. But it is this kind of situation that defines a person’s character. Miss Beardsley decided to go for it for eighteen months and she is who she is because of that. She correctly points out that this relationship put a crack in the foundation of her marriage before it was even set and I give her credit for this insight. The agreement between Mimi and her future husband, Tony Fahnestock, to never discuss JFK created the unhealthy pattern in their marriage of avoiding all difficult discussions and certainly contributed to its end.

      Of course, JFK deserves a great deal of the blame for taking advantage of Mimi. What’s puzzling is that Mimi does not seem to blame him for this, preferring to think that their relationship was special. In addition she never thought about whether JFK was carrying on with other women besides herself, and she did not think about the First Lady at all. On top of that, she has no regrets. When asked in an interview if she would do it again she said, sure. It was too much fun to say she wouldn’t.

      This is not great literature. If you’re interested in knowing more about Kennedy’s private life, maybe you’d want to read this. Or maybe you like reading about preppy debutantes and finishing schools. And certainly there are some lurid details to keep you interested. If so, then go for it. Then you can ask yourself if this was an affair or if you want to give it a different name.
      …more

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      Abdul

      Mar 25, 2012

      rated it
      it was ok

      Wow, what a story. This lady wittingly served as a sex kitten to the most powerful man in the world at the time.

      Quick read, not very salacious, she describes the affair in a dreamy naive manner that makes you wonder whether she was a victim or willing paramour.

      In all honesty, I am not sure what to feel about this book. I get the sense that she was caught up in the moment and made poor decisions that she is now trying to atone for. She says that she could have easily said no at any point and be
      Wow, what a story. This lady wittingly served as a sex kitten to the most powerful man in the world at the time.

      Quick read, not very salacious, she describes the affair in a dreamy naive manner that makes you wonder whether she was a victim or willing paramour.

      In all honesty, I am not sure what to feel about this book. I get the sense that she was caught up in the moment and made poor decisions that she is now trying to atone for. She says that she could have easily said no at any point and believes she would have been left alone. If that is truly the case one wonders why she did not. Throughout the book she mentions how she was chaste and well brought up but her actions seem to contradict that. The part where she is being passed around for oral sex with different men for the pleasure of the president is particularly disgusting and very un-chaste like.
      If she was indeed a willing paramour and not a victim why come forward with this story except to cash in?

      Interesting read for those who are curious. She plays the naïve participant who is in love with the president very well. I doubt this book has much value except to shed more light on a reckless man who made it to the pinnacle of American power. I might even venture as far as to say this book could be classified as a waste of time.

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      Linda Lipko

      Oct 20, 2015

      rated it
      really liked it

      If you like to read about the life of President John F. Kennedy, then this is a book for you. Mimi was a mere 19 years of age when she obtained a coveted internship working with the press corp. at the White House.

      Hailing from pedigree and a family of stature and means, she fit the classic mold of high society. She attended the same prep school as Jackie Kennedy. Pretty, charming and easily swayed, within a week of arrival, President Kennedy noticed and seduced her.

      The author never portrays hers
      If you like to read about the life of President John F. Kennedy, then this is a book for you. Mimi was a mere 19 years of age when she obtained a coveted internship working with the press corp. at the White House.

      Hailing from pedigree and a family of stature and means, she fit the classic mold of high society. She attended the same prep school as Jackie Kennedy. Pretty, charming and easily swayed, within a week of arrival, President Kennedy noticed and seduced her.

      The author never portrays herself as a victim. Throughout the book, she notes her young age, and freely admits she was enamored, and thrived in the heady atmosphere of an incredibly handsome man who took a liking to her. Bill Clinton was not the first President to seduce an intern!

      Traveling on Air Force one with the President, arriving at locations where she was sequestered in a hotel room, or a compound with a pool and all amenities, she felt special and very fortunate to be part, albeit a hidden part, of a glamorous world of the Presidents entourage.

      Now a grandmother, she looks back at that time in her life. She is not bitter, nor is she writing a gossipy tell all book for notoriety, rather, she has a story to tell, and it is an interesting tale.

      The affair began with an invite to swim with the President in the White House pool. He then asked if he could give her a tour of the White House. Quickly, her virginity was lost in Jackie Kennedy’s bedroom suite.

      Lasting a few years, she acknowledges that when she began to stand up for herself, and when Jackie lost their baby son, the President graciously affirmed her decision to marry and begin a life without him.

      There are a few disturbing scenes portrayed regarding JFK’s dark side. Mimi grew increasingly uncomfortable with Kennedy’s lack of class and brashness in treating her as a sexual object to be shared with his friend and brother Ted. She refused to “make Ted comfortable”, and said a resounding No!

      Drugs were distributed at Bing Crosby’s house, and a raucous time was had by all, but Mimi. Using her as a guinea pig, Kennedy insisted she take the drug amylnitrate When she declined, he broke open the capsule and she inhaled the contents. Immediately her heart raced to out of control levels.

      The affair was winding down, still he invited her to meet him in Dallas. When Jackie decided to accompany her husband on that fateful trip, Mimi was left behind. She learned of his death while listening to the radio of the car her soon to be husband was driving.

      She was young and naive, but, to her credit, she could have bragged and told the world about the affair when it was occurring. In terrific grief, the only person she told after learning of Kennedy’s death was her soon-to-be husband.
      …more

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      Bev

      Feb 10, 2012

      rated it
      it was ok

      Shelves:
      biography ,
      kindle

      I saw a brief news report from Scarborough Country about this book today. This is not a program I regularly watch, so I don’t know who the women is on it, but while Joe Scarborough and Chris Matthews talked about the book, this woman looked like she had just swallowed something disgusting and kept making dismissive gestures as if the whole topic was so distasteful she didn’t want to be involved with it.

      Well…I ordered Alford’s book about her youthful affair with JFK and I understand why she wro
      I saw a brief news report from Scarborough Country about this book today. This is not a program I regularly watch, so I don’t know who the women is on it, but while Joe Scarborough and Chris Matthews talked about the book, this woman looked like she had just swallowed something disgusting and kept making dismissive gestures as if the whole topic was so distasteful she didn’t want to be involved with it.

      Well…I ordered Alford’s book about her youthful affair with JFK and I understand why she wrote the book. You have to imagine the time in which she came to the White House as an intern, and what her upbringing had been. Then imagine her affair with the most powerful man in the world, who essentially raped her (though she says it was consensual), but for whom, over their 18 month affair, she had very fond feelings.

      Her confession to her fiance, on the eve of Kennedy’s assassination, of the affair set the tone for their marriage which, inevitably ended in divorce. She might have kept her secret forever had not she read some comments about herself in a book about JFK and then discovered the tabloids going after information about her. I see that she wrote this book to set the record straight and to cleanse herself of the emotional effects of her affair. The fact that she kept this story a secret for nearly 50 years is pretty amazing.

      This is not a salacious book. Things are handled in a very tasteful manner. The interesting part peters out after the assassination, though it is painful to see how this 18 month period in the life of a 19 year old girl took so many years to come to terms with. I hope that the woman on Scarborough Country actually reads the book, preferably with an open mind. I think she would be surprised.
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      Jess

      Jun 19, 2013

      rated it
      really liked it

      Shelves:
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      After I read this book, I wanted to take about 50 showers. JFK was an okay president, and I always prefer it when history focuses on his accomplishments rather than his personal life, but as a man he is straight-up disgusting, and I have to admit that after reading this I am having a hard time thinking about the Peace Corps and the Cuban Missile Crisis and Camelot with the same rosy glow I did as a history-obsessed kid. I guess all of our heroes are just mortal men after all.

      The author lacks a
      After I read this book, I wanted to take about 50 showers. JFK was an okay president, and I always prefer it when history focuses on his accomplishments rather than his personal life, but as a man he is straight-up disgusting, and I have to admit that after reading this I am having a hard time thinking about the Peace Corps and the Cuban Missile Crisis and Camelot with the same rosy glow I did as a history-obsessed kid. I guess all of our heroes are just mortal men after all.

      The author lacks a certain self-awareness that is kind of typical of old money – she says at the beginning of the story that her family was very ordinary and didn’t have the kind of money or connections to land her a White House internship out of the blue, but then goes on to spend the next five pages describing EXACTLY the kind of money and connections that could land someone said internship. She also points out that her first husband is from the kind of family she was expected to marry into. News flash – when you are expected to marry into a particular kind of family, you are probably rich.

      As such, I didn’t really like the author very much throughout most of the book, though clearly, most of what happened to her was not her fault. She was just a very dumb, very sheltered kid who was in awe of JFK’s power and had been brought up to be compliant and obedient. Naturally she was going to do all the depraved things he wanted her to do. Near the end, after she starts to find happiness on her own and the story of the affair breaks in 2002, her story takes a much better turn and I couldn’t help but want her to have the success and contentment she achieved.
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      Joy

      May 21, 2012

      rated it
      liked it

      This was an amazingly good book. I hope it moves me along on my quest for becoming more compassionate. I was totally surprised by my ability to see how a young, innocent girl from a wealthy family could become a mistress of JFK. When she arrived in Washington for an internship as a nineteen-year-old, she was totally unprepared for the moral vacuum (my term) around the JFK White House and was seduced by him on their second meeting. She was in awe of his power (as president) and chrisma (as a man)
      This was an amazingly good book. I hope it moves me along on my quest for becoming more compassionate. I was totally surprised by my ability to see how a young, innocent girl from a wealthy family could become a mistress of JFK. When she arrived in Washington for an internship as a nineteen-year-old, she was totally unprepared for the moral vacuum (my term) around the JFK White House and was seduced by him on their second meeting. She was in awe of his power (as president) and chrisma (as a man), and just went along with his requests and those of his staff.
      She was emotionally unprepared for the thrill of being wanted by the most powerful man in the world,
      then as she had to deal with the feelings of isolation as a college students, called to Washington for occasional weekends. I certainly felt sympathy for an “innocent” girl who was moved along by events (as opposed to a Monica Lewinsky, who came with a bundle of experience and baggage and knew exactly what she was doing). Sad experience that overshadowed her life. This all happened the year and a half before Kennedy died.

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      Pam Burzynski

      Mar 11, 2013

      rated it
      it was amazing

       · 
      review of another edition

      Shelves:
      memoir

      I was hooked on the second page. Alford’s account of her 18 month affair with JFK was believable and unbelievable at the same time.

      Vowing to keep the entire thing a secret, it was years before Alford realizes how the affair, the death of JFK, and “the secret” have overshadowed her life and relationships.

      The veracity of the story is compelling, and while the memoir wasn’t loaded with extra details, it’s surprising, almost, that the author was able to remember as much as she did after suppressing
      I was hooked on the second page. Alford’s account of her 18 month affair with JFK was believable and unbelievable at the same time.

      Vowing to keep the entire thing a secret, it was years before Alford realizes how the affair, the death of JFK, and “the secret” have overshadowed her life and relationships.

      The veracity of the story is compelling, and while the memoir wasn’t loaded with extra details, it’s surprising, almost, that the author was able to remember as much as she did after suppressing her memories for so many years. Alford admits the process of writing was difficult and painful, yet it was liberating to piece the whole thing back together again after 40+ years.

      I think it took guts to tell the story the way she did, and I hung on every word. I also believe it’s probably easier to appreciate and truly understand the story, for those closer to Alford’s age.
      …more

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      About Mimi Alford

      Mimi Alford
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      Marion “Mimi” Alford (born May 7, 1943) is an American woman who wrote a book first published in 2011 about her affair 50 years earlier with the United States President John F. Kennedy when she was a 19 year-old intern working in the White House. Her book is titled Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath.

      Books by Mimi Alford

      Salaisuus sydämessäni
      Érase una vez un secreto: Mi affaire con el presidente John F. Kennedy y sus consecuencias

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      “Sometimes all we want is for another person to hear us.”


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      “But I realize now that a pivotal moment isn’t necessarily the most joyful or memorable one; it is often just the moment that reverberates most powerfully.”


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      Mimi Alford

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      Mimi Alford
      Born
      Marion Fay Beardsley

      (1943-05-07) May 7, 1943 (age 75)

      Texarkana, Arkansas , U.S.
      Other namesMarion Beardsley Alford
      Marion Fahnestock
      Spouse(s)Tony Fahnestock (1964–1989; divorced)
      Richard Alford [1]

      Marion FayMimiAlford (née Beardsley; born May 7, 1943) [2] is an American woman who had an affair with President John F. Kennedy while she served as an intern in the White House press office in 1962 and 1963.

      Despite the affair’s consuming influence over her life at the time, Alford managed to keep the illicit trysts a secret for 40 years, until clues were leaked in 2003. Alford published her own book about the affair, Once Upon a Secret, in 2011. [3]

      Contents

      • 1 Early life
      • 2 White House intern and Kennedy affair
      • 3 Later life
      • 4 Revelation of affair
      • 5 Once Upon a Secret
      • 6 Notes
      • 7 References

      Early life[ edit ]

      Marion Fay Beardsley was born in Texarkana, Arkansas and was raised in Middletown Township, New Jersey . She was educated at Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut. While working as an editor in 1961 at her high school newspaper, the Salmagundy , she wrote to the White House and requested an interview with Jacqueline Kennedy , who herself had been an editor of Salmagundy at Miss Porter’s School. Mrs. Kennedy was unable to fit a meeting into her schedule, but her social secretary, Letitia Baldrige , also a Miss Porter’s alumna, invited Beardsley to come to the White House and interview her about Mrs. Kennedy. She briefly met President Kennedy during this visit. [4] [5]

      In Beardsley’s first year at Wheaton College , the White House offered her an open position as a summer intern in the White House press office; she accepted and began her internship in 1962. She was asked back for the following summer and visited the White House in between. [4] [6]

      White House intern and Kennedy affair[ edit ]

      On her fourth day in the White House press office, President Kennedy’s special assistant, Dave Powers , asked Beardsley if she would like to join a group in the residence’s swimming pool, where to her surprise they were joined by President Kennedy. She was asked to join a cocktail party in the residence that evening, and the President offered her a personal tour of the home. After Kennedy led her into Jackie’s powder blue bedroom, she and Kennedy had sex, which was Beardsley’s first sexual encounter. [7]

      The resultant affair lasted 18 months, during which time Beardsley, still a Wheaton student, met Tony Fahnestock, a student at Williams , and they became engaged. The affair with the President began to cool and he sometimes humiliated her. [8] [9] The pressures of her double life drove her to leave college after her sophomore year. [10] Alford said that she and the President did not have sexual relations after August 1963, though she retained her position in the White House. [11] She was disappointed to be dropped from the trip to Dallas, Texas with Kennedy in November 1963 , but Jacqueline had decided to go there with him. [12] The last time she saw Kennedy, on November 15, 1963, he gave her $300 cash as a wedding present and asked that she buy “something fantastic” to wear, “then come back and show me.” She bought a gray suit. [13] [14]

      Later life[ edit ]

      Several hours after Kennedy was assassinated, Beardsley broke down and confessed the affair to her fiancé Tony Fahnestock. Although he was deeply hurt and angry, they married on schedule, in January 1964. [15] The marriage produced two daughters but ended in divorce many years later in 1990. [16] Fahnestock died of cancer three years after the divorce, at age 52. [17] Beardsley returned to college and graduated in 1994. [18] She married Richard Alford, a sports marketing executive with IMG , in 2005. [19] [20] Alford is a grandmother and a retired New York City church administrator. [3] [21]

      Revelation of affair[ edit ]

      In 2002, while historian Robert Dallek was researching his biography An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917–1963 , he came across a 1964 interview with Kennedy press aide Barbara Gamarekian in the JFK Presidential Library [22] that described, in a roundabout way, Kennedy’s dalliances with an intern named Mimi who “couldn’t type”, who “had no skills”, “who obviously couldn’t perform any function at all” and others who worked in the press office. [23] [24] [25] At Gamarekian’s request in 1964, this part of her interview was permanently sealed, but Dallek persuaded her to unseal it so that he might include in his biography mention of a “tall, slender, beautiful” intern among Kennedy’s White House diversions, in the context of his argument that Kennedy was undistracted from duty by health troubles or women. [24] [26] The unsealed section was leaked by a JFK Library archivist on April 24, 2003, six days before Dallek’s publication date. [26] [27] Reporters hastened to identify the intern and on May 13 the New York Daily News ran a front-page teaser headline, “Fun and Games with Mimi in the White House”, for its exposé, “JFK had a Monica “. Mimi Fahnestock confirmed the affair in a statement, but made no further comment at that time. [28]

      Once Upon a Secret[ edit ]

      After the intrusive press attention of 2003, Alford felt she should try to take control of the story of her own life, and she began to write with her husband’s encouragement. [1] [20] An executive editor at Random House looked at about 20 pages and acquired the rights for “close to seven figures” in 2009. [1] Originally subtitled “My Hidden Affair with John F. Kennedy”, Alford’s book was published in April 2011 by Hutchinson Radius, [29] an imprint of Penguin Random House Group , and marketed as “a woman’s coming-of-age story”. [1] According to the New York Times , “Ms. Alford claims to be completely purged of guilt, grief and baggage by the cleansing process of acknowledging past mistakes. And she describes a happy new marriage.” [30]

      Once Upon a Secret spent several weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list , [31] the NPR Hardcover Nonfiction Best Seller list, [32] and the Los Angeles Times Best Seller list. [33]

      In an interview with Ann Curry on February 9, 2012, Alford stated that at the time she did not feel guilty about the fact that the President was married, although in hindsight, “I feel guilty about not having felt guilty about Mrs. Kennedy.” [34]

      In a subsequent interview with People magazine she stated, “if I was 19…I would do it again—it’s hard to say I wouldn’t.” [9]

      Notes[ edit ]

      1. ^ a b c d Rich, Motoko (2009-05-22). “Paramour of Kennedy Is Writing a Book” . The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-02-05.

      2. ^ https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=GWdyWpj_Dqbl5gLn4LTIDQ&q=mimi+alford+date+of+birth&oq=mimi+alford+date+of+birth&gs_l=psy-ab.3..33i21k1.890.8389.0.9540.32.27.2.2.2.0.105.2179.25j2.27.0….0…1c.1.64.psy-ab..1.29.2128.0..0j46j0i131k1j0i131i46k1j46i131k1j0i46k1j0i22i30k1j0i22i10i30k1j33i160k1j33i22i29i30k1.0.BDgBjilj1SI
      3. ^ a b Fagan, Cynthia (2012-02-05). “Teen mistress addresses relationship, pol’s Cold War fears in memoir” . New York Post. Retrieved 2012-02-05.
      4. ^ a b “No Typing Required” . People.com. 2003-06-02. Retrieved 2016-10-25.
      5. ^ Alford 2012 , pp. 14–18.
      6. ^ Alford 2012 , pp. 13, 18.
      7. ^ Alford 2012 , p. 49.
      8. ^ Alford 2012 , pp. 102, 124–125.
      9. ^ a b Mascia, Kristen (February 27, 2012). “Picks and Pans Review: My Love Affair with JFK” . People .
      10. ^ Alford 2012 , p. 115.
      11. ^ Alford 2012 , pp. 36, 125.
      12. ^ Alford 2012 , p. 128.
      13. ^ Alford 2012 , p. 127.
      14. ^ Flanagan, Caitlin . “Jackie and the Girls” . No. July/August 2012. The Atlantic . Retrieved November 13, 2017.
      15. ^ Alford 2012 , pp. 134–139.
      16. ^ Alford 2012 , p. 167.
      17. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1993/06/23/obituaries/anthony-fahnestock-a-stock-manager-52.html
      18. ^ Alford 2012 , p. 7.
      19. ^ Alford 2012 , p. 198.
      20. ^ a b Mariani, John (February 14, 2012). “How a former Syracuse man met and married JFK’s mistress ‘Mimi” . Syracuse Post-Standard . Retrieved November 28, 2017.
      21. ^ “JFK mistress Mimi Alford reveals new details in book” . BBC News . February 5, 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-05.
      22. ^ The interview was one of scores collected by the Library as part of their oral history program. “JFK Had An Intern Too” . The Smoking Gun . 2003-05-13. Retrieved 2012-02-06.
      23. ^ “JFK Had an Intern Too (Transcript)” . The Smoking Gun . May 13, 2003. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
      24. ^ a b Garrow, David J. (2003-05-23). “Books of the Times; Substance Over Sex In Kennedy Biography” . The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-02-06.
      25. ^ Hopper, Jessica. “Former White House intern Mimi Alford reveals details of Kennedy affair” . Rock Center with Brian Williams . Archived from the original on February 14, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
      26. ^ a b “JFK Had An Intern Too” . The Smoking Gun . 2003-05-13. Retrieved 2012-02-06.
      27. ^ “An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917 – 1963” . Google Books. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
      28. ^ Alford 2012 , p. 9.
      29. ^ Alford, Mimi (2011), Once Upon a Secret: My Hidden Affair with John F. Kennedy, Hutchinson Radius, ISBN   978-0091931759
      30. ^ Maslin, Janet. “Sure, Mr. President, if You Really Want Me To” . New York Times. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
      31. ^ “Combined Print & eBook Nonfiction” . New York Times. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
      32. ^ “NPR Hardcover Nonfiction Bestseller List” . NPR. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
      33. ^ “Bestseller List” . Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
      34. ^ Stump, Scott (February 9, 2012). “Former intern: JFK affair was imbalanced, but not abusive” . Today . Archived from the original on October 1, 2013.

      References[ edit ]

      Alford, Mimi (2012) [2011]. Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath. Random House . ISBN   978-1-4000-6910-1 .

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