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 In the summer of nineteen year old Mimi Beardsley arrived by train in Washington D C to begin an internship in the White House press office The Kennedy Administration had reinvigorated the capi

  • Title: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath
  • Author: Mimi Alford Susan Denaker
  • ISBN: 9780307877796
  • Page: 146
  • Format: Audio CD
  • In the summer of 1962, nineteen year old Mimi Beardsley arrived by train in Washington, D.C to begin an internship in the White House press office The Kennedy Administration had reinvigorated the capital and the country and Mimi was eager to contribute For a young woman from a privileged but sheltered upbringing, the job was the chance of a lifetime Although she startIn the summer of 1962, nineteen year old Mimi Beardsley arrived by train in Washington, D.C to begin an internship in the White House press office The Kennedy Administration had reinvigorated the capital and the country and Mimi was eager to contribute For a young woman from a privileged but sheltered upbringing, the job was the chance of a lifetime Although she started as a lowly intern, Mimi made an impression on Kennedy s inner circle and, after just three days at the White House, she was presented to the President himself Almost immediately, the two began an affair that would continue for the next eighteen months In an era when women in the workplace were still considered girls, Mimi was literally a girl herself na ve, innocent, emotionally unprepared for the thrill that came when the President s charisma and power were turned on her full force She was also unprepared for the feelings of isolation that would follow as she fell into the double life of a college student who was also the secret lover of the most powerful man in the world Then, after the President s tragic death in Dallas, she grieved in private, locked her secret away, and tried to start her life anew, only to find that her past would cast a long shadow and ultimately destroy her relationship with the man she married In 2003, a Kennedy biographer mentioned a tall, slender, beautiful nineteen year old college sopho and White House intern, who worked in the press office in reference to one of the President s affairs The disclosure set off a tabloid frenzy and soon exposed Mimi and the secret that she had kept for forty one years Because her past had been revealed in such a shocking, public way, she was forced, for the first time, to examine the choices she d made She came to understand that shutting down one part of her life so completely had closed her off from so much No longer defined by silence or shame, Mimi Alford has finally unburdened herself with this searingly honest account of her life and her extremely private moments with a very public man Once Upon a Secret offers a new and personal depiction of one of our most iconic leaders and a powerful, moving story of a woman coming to terms with her past and moving out of the shadows to reclaim the truth.

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      Published :2019-06-25T10:20:37+00:00

    1 thought on “Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath”

    1. 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 kep [...]

    2. 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 [...]

    3. 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 [...]

    4. 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 [...]

    5. 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 [...]

    6. 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 [...]

    7. 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 [...]

    8. 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 [...]

    9. 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 [...]

    10. 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 [...]

    11. 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 [...]

    12. 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 [...]

    13. "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 Alfor [...]

    14. 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 h [...]

    15. 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 doexcept 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 th [...]

    16. 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 [...]

    17. This was trash. I've read so many reviews in magazines, on , on , 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 [...]

    18. 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 [...]

    19. 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 [...]

    20. 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 [...]

    21. 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 [...]

    22. 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 [...]

    23. 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 [...]

    24. 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.WellI ordered Alford's book about her youthful affair with JFK and I understand why she wrote [...]

    25. 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 [...]

    26. 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) [...]

    27. 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 [...]

    28. 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 [...]

    29. A fantastic memoir that I highly recommend. I was very moved by Mimi’s journey from a naive nineteen-year-old girl to a happily married and confident sixty-three-year-old woman.I’ve often considered how secrets effect friends or family, but never really understood how secrets can impact one’s own emotional well-being. Once Upon a Secret was often an alarming story to read. I was so disgusted by the corruption of power, not only exhibited from JFK, but others who worked in the White House w [...]

    30. John F. Kennedy once said that the reason we read biographies is to answer the question, “What was he like?” That’s certainly the reason that Kennedy still intrigues people more than 50 years after his tragic death. Personally, I find JFK to be one of the most interesting Presidents, so I was fascinated by Mimi Alford’s excellent 2012 book, Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and its Aftermath. Alford, then known by her maiden name as Mimi Beardsley, was a 19-yea [...]

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