Tag: secret

Critical look at “Once upon a secret,” new book about JFK

Last week I gave high praise to the new book Once Upon a Secret: my affair with President John F. Kenedy and its aftermath by Mimi Alford. I believe that it’s a well written and enjoyable book. That being said, I do think that it is at least fair to mention that some of Alford’s claims need to potentially be taken with a certain degree of scepticism.

In her discussion of working in the Kennedy White House, many of the people she claims had knowledge of her affair with the president are now deceased. Furthermore, given the nature of her relationship with Kennedy, it was hidden from outsiders, which makes her claims difficult to verify. To believe what is said in the book, we essentially have to take Alford’s word for it.

Late October. 1962. 
 
America is in a panic as the U.S. and the Soviet Union appear to be close to the brink of nuclear war. The early morning hours of October 28 would prove to be the final hours leading up to the peaceful conclusion of the Cuban Missile Crisis. But in the days and hours which led to that safe conclusion, there was tension. In our nation’s capital, some were readying fallout shelters, while others wanted to get as far away from Washington as possible in the actual event of war.  
 
But for a young woman named Mimi, she lay “sleeping like a baby, wrapped in soft linens, in a bedroom on the second floor of the White House.”