It appears as if C. David Heymann‘s “Bobby and Jackie: A Love Story” (Atria, 7.14), which tells of a four-year affair between Robert Kennedy and Jackie not-yet-Onassis Kennedy from ’64 to ’68, may be legitimate and credible. Maybe, not sure.
Reading a N.Y. Post description of it got me, in any case, because of a description of a fascinating shared psychology that may have existed between the two — the eroticizing of a family relationship as a way of suppressing trauma and grief.
When I read this I was immediately reminded of the so-called “terror fucking” syndrome that caught on in Manhattan for two or three weeks following 9.11.
Heymann’s book, due in stores a week from Tuesday, reportedly includes recollections of the affair from such Kennedy family intimates as Pierre Salinger, Arthur Schlesinger, Jack Newfield, Gore Vidal, Truman Capote and Morton Downey Jr. Heymann reportedly “spent nearly two decades researching the tome, even digging through old FBI and Secret Service files about the clandestine couple. Tapes of his exhaustive interviews are available at the SUNY Stony Brook library.”
I’m still a little reluctant to buy into this lock, stock and barrel, but the following portion of Jeane MacIntosh‘s N.Y. Post piece put the hook in because it seemed emotionally and psychologically credible:
“By all accounts, the romance between Jackie and Bobby sprang from their shared grief over the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It was the coming together of a man and a woman as a result of his bereavement and her mental suffering at the hands of her late, lecherous husband,” according to Jackie confidant Truman Capote.
“It was passionate, [but] it was doomed.”