Tuesday, March 13, 2012


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
2.0 out of 5 stars Old news in this re-printed book of a brief footnote in time..., March 11, 2012
By C. B. Miller "C.B. Miller" (USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) This review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Hardcover)
I read through this short book while at a local book store. It is easy to read as it clocks in at around 200 pages. Having read the major works are JFK, [Schlesinger, Arthur, Jr. "A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House" (2002) [1965], Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner; Reeves, Richard. "President Kennedy: Profile of Power" (1993) and Dallek, Robert. "An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963" (2003)], I had a certain amount of passing interest in seeing what this book had to say.

I have been somewhat amazed at the amount of interest shown this re-printed and re-issued book (with a tweak to the title). It first was published in April 2011 by Hutchinson Radius, ISBN: 0091931754. I guess that did not get enough press or generate enough money, so the book was re-published by the giant Random House in Feb. 2012, with Ms. Alford then making some TV and press rounds. Which begs the question-if she really only wanted to tell the tale as she has stated, why re-publish the book and make all the TV rounds? It could have been told to a historian or published in a magazine article. It is also important to note that what is conveyed to the reader is according to Ms. Alford. Further, Mimi's alleged relationship with Kennedy was actually noted back in 2003 in Dallek's book about JFK. No big deal was made of it at the time. And certainly there is no one left alive to verify certain aspects of the book.

She states the affair began in the summer of 1962, after she was hired as an intern in the White House Press Office. She then goes on to cover the claimed time she spent with and without JFK. I found it interesting that the sexual aspect of the relationship was reported to have ended by August 1963. Thereafter, they only spent time together. Clearly, NO crime was committed and unlike what some other reviewer's allege in their point of view, this was a voluntary relationship that was something more that just about sex; one of enjoying each other's company. In the book, the relationship with JFK stops by page 128.

The failure of her first marriage is placed at the foot of the alleged affair. And to be fair, whatever happened, it would have had some impact on a person involved. Clearly, her first marriage was dysfunctional and the lack of communication screams out at the reader. Did she really believe her first husband Tony would "laugh about her youthful indiscretion" without digging deeper. To be fair, it is clear Tony did not want to discuss it or other feelings. She goes on to state, "she tried to be the perfect wife and mother..." which is impossible pressure in itself and as she found out, "...didn't mean I was happy". One is left with the impression her first marriage was bound for failure anyway. Further, one is left feeling that part of her sadness was the sudden and shocking murder of JFK. She never got the say goodbye to him, until visiting his grave at the end of the book with her second husband.

The matter of fidelity should be mentioned here. It is generally accepted history that men such as: Martin Luther King, Jr. (see: Garrow, David. "Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference" (1989). ISBN 978-0-06-056692-0); JFK; LBJ; and Grover Cleveland were engaged in activities with women outside of marriage. Further, President Franklin D. Roosevelt is reported to have had affairs with Lucy Mercer, who was given the code name "Mrs. Johnson" by the Secret Service; and also, Marguerite "Missy" LeHand, as well.

Also, President Eisenhower (during World War II) reportedly had an affair with driver, Kay Summersby who also co-wrote a book on it, "Past Forgetting: My Love Affair with Dwight D. Eisenhower". (1986 re-print) ISBN: 0002116456. No one seems to remember these events, nor do people condemn the men for personal failure in light of the overall lives and contributions they made to our world. It should be the same with John F. Kennedy.

It must be remembered that all of these men were humans, and therefore, less that perfect. That fact should make us connect more with them. We tend to forget that icons are humans, too. We should not place them on too high a pedestal. Was JFK a flawed human, of course, but and so is Ms. Alford and everyone else. Today, our country could use some of JFK's leadership and inspiration. We have become too much of a "what's in it for me" country; and the social wars have taken a heavy toll on our unity. In the end, JFK's personal life and relationship with his wife is really no one's business but his and his family. Ms. Alford and her alleged affair is a footnote in time. And she said, being a footnote was fine by her and as Ms. Alford put forth in People magazine (Feb. 27, 2012), she "would do it again..." That is her choice but not history that really needs to be remembered in the end.

Hard to Believe that an upper class NJ debutante, reared with the privilege of a finishing school such as Miss Porter's (same as Jackie K), and Wheaton College, wouldn't:
* wonder how it was she came to land "the plummiest of summer jobs -- an internship at the White House" in the press office of the Kennedy Administration. Huh? She didn't even bother to ask anyone how this miracle came to be? She had not applied or actively sought the position. Didn't her parents wonder? Hmmm.
* feel at least some upset at her loss of virginity just four days after she arrives at the White House, by the JFK himself, on Jackie's bed, no less?
* she confides in no one??!!! How weird is that!
* doesn't ever attempt to discuss the weird lunchtime pool swims with Fiddle and Jill?
* attributes, over and over, her daze-like actions, continuing to answer the summons for pools swims, and then bedding visits, to JFK's powerful magnetism
* never seems to give thought to the consequences of their beddings -- never considers or is worried that she could get pregnant?! And, she never does?!
* hard to believe JFK, our first Catholic president wasn't concerned about birth control -- oh, but wait, his good buddy Dave Powers has an abortion doctor waiting in the shadows, evidently prepared to help with any problem situations.
What a bunch of creeps.
* hard to believe Mimi was so passive and compliant she agrees to perform ora*l s*x on Dave Powers while JFK quietly observes? What??!!! This is just sick on so many levels, by all three of them! What kind of perverts were these guys, and what kind of weakling/dummy was she?
Her excuse, that she was just nineteen, and enthralled with the situation, is pathetic.

Also pathetic is the second half of her book, where she describes her failing marriage -- hardly a surprise, and then her new love. Did anyone else laugh out loud when this Manhattan resident, after marrying an obviously well off Dick Alford, describes their "Fridays" "When Dick and I review every penny we spent the previous week -- from the $26 to fill up the gas tank to the $10.50 matinee at the Triplex to $307.25 for an insurance premium."
Then, literally two pages later she starts a chapter with: "In early 2011, Dick and I had rented a house in West Palm Beach, Florida, to escape a brutal winter in Alford (Conn.)"
Are You Kidding Me???!!!!

This book was such a downer -- that a young woman, given all life's privileges, is willing to perform as a s*x slave for JFK without any concern for her own safety or dignity. That JFK was such a pervert. That Dave Powers also was such a pervert.
Not one character in this sorry tale looks admirable.

Monday, March 5, 2012


A good read, but a few questions remain..., March 3, 2012
By Glen Jacobs "Kane" (Texas) - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Hardcover)
While I enjoyed this book, and I do believe that the writer DID have an affair with JFK, there were a few things in her story I do question.
Let me mention first what I do like about the book, and/or believe. She really takes us back to the 1960's, to the White House of that time. We get a sense of how it was back then,how different.
While she keeps the 'sex' pretty much at a PG level, there were still some details that caught me off guard. Even after JFK is killed, she keeps your attention, as the affair hangs over her personal life for many years.
Now, about some parts I may not believe....(Ok, I'll just talk about ONE)
There is no question that in 2003, Mimi was "found out" in the Bio "An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963" by Robert Dallek. Also, Kennedy press aide Barbara Gamarekian mentioned "Mimi" by name in her oral memoir transcribed by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in 1964, and unsealed in 2003. Ok. So she DID have the affair. I just wonder if she 'added' some details to her story. Case in point: She mentions that she and JFK took baths togther, and that he had some rubber ducks. She says they popped up after Vaughn Meader's comedy album The First Family came out. She says that in one skit, Meader (as the President)lists which toys are Caroline's or John's and then insists that "The rubber duck is mine!" So she says a friend of the President sent him the rubber ducks, because of that skit and famous line.
Well, you can listen to that skit on YOUTUBE. It's the 2nd skit on the album. The problem is, that it's a rubber SWAN, and not a duck. The line is "the rubber schwan [swan] is mine." Now, did he have rubber ducks in his tub? Maybe. Did she make the connection to the record, and just get it wrong? Maybe. But it made me wonder how much (if any-to be fair-she may be 100% telling the truth) that she 'added'....
Even if some parts were added to pad this quick read, it IS a good read. Fan of JFK, or not, I think it is worth your time...