Read Once Upon a Secret PDF - My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath by Mimi Alford Random House Trade Paperbacks. 5 days ago Once Upon A Secret My Affair With President John F Kennedy And Its Aftermath [ PDF] [EPUB]. Marion Fay "Mimi" Alford (née Beardsley; born. PDF - Once upon a secret. In the summer of , nineteen-year-old Mimi Beardsley arrived in Washington, D.C., to begin an internship in the White House .
|Language:||English, Spanish, Portuguese|
|Genre:||Academic & Education|
|ePub File Size:||24.74 MB|
|PDF File Size:||12.38 MB|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Regsitration Required]|
1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “With the benefit of hindsight and good old- fashioned maturity, [Mimi Alford] writes not just about the. #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • "With the benefit of hindsight and good old-fashioned maturity, [Mimi Alford] writes not just about the secret, but the. Editorial Reviews. Review. “With the benefit of hindsight and good old-fashioned maturity, [Mimi Alford] writes not just about the secret, but the corrosive effect of.
Order by newest oldest recommendations. Ultimately, however, Once Upon a Secret proves more irritating than moving because Mimi Alford's eventual self-actualization ends up being so--well, irritating. The author lacks a After I read this book, I wanted to take about 50 showers. Media Once Upon a Secret. If you like to read about the life of President John F.
Now, no longer defined by silence or shame, Mimi Alford finally unburdens herself with this unflinchingly honest account of her life and her extremely private moments with a very public man. Once Upon a Secret is a moving story of a woman emerging from the shadows to reclaim the truth. In the summer of , nineteen-year-old Mimi Beardsley arrived by train in Washington, D. 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. 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.
The disclosure set off a tabloid frenzy and soon exposed Mimi and the secret that she had kept for forty-one years. She came to understand that shutting down one part of her life so completely had closed her off from so much more. 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.
Mimi Alford lives in western Massachusetts with her husband, Dick.
Together they have seven grandchildren. This is her first book. Join Reader Rewards and earn your way to a free book! She did not think this was an extramarital affair. Sure, she began to notice that other White House staffers resented her. But Ms. View all New York Times newsletters. How could you? Alford, put to the test, was willing to pre-cheat on her future husband, Tony Fahnestock.
And he married her even after he learned about this betrayal. They stayed married apparently without discussing President Kennedy for more than 20 years. Alford gives up on the idea that one day she and Tony will laugh about her youthful indiscretion. They settle into an angry, joyless union. She starts reading squishy self-help books and parroting their platitudes.
She is identified as a Kennedy girlfriend in and claims to have enjoyed being trapped in her New York apartment while reporters staked out the building. What now? Serenity of course. 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, albeit in the strangest terms. So the etiquette lessons of her cotillion days at least taught her something. It took an awful lot of Brussels sprouts to give her the clean conscience she boasts today. 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.
Apr 03, Farrah 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 year-old interns got started and continued for 1. You can't help but be amazed considering the 24 hr. 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. 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 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 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. May 14, Beth rated it liked it. Ick, ick, ick. If you don't want to be disgusted by JFK, then don't read this book.
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 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.
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: 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.
May 19, Katherine rated it it was ok Shelves: I never told my parents, or my children. I assumed it would stay my secret until I died. It didn't. I did, and it changed my whole outlook not only on the situation but the author behind it. From , nineteen year old Mimi Alf "I kept this secret with near religious discipline for more than forty years. From , nineteen year old Mimi Alford, a White House intern and college student, had a secret eighteen month long affair with President John F.
For more than forty years, she kept that affair a secret until a Kennedy biographer outed her in 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. 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.
My guarded answer has always been, 'I don't know. I knew ours wasn't a partnership of equals, and my love would go unrequited.
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. 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. In , 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 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. Alford's honest account of that year in In , 19 year-old Mimi Beardsley landed a summer job as intern in the White House. 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.
Jan 30, Erin Lenihan 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.
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. Feb 13, Jaime Boler rated it it was ok. Once upon a Secret: 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. Alford had a secret affair with President John F. But, in , the jig was up. In that year, the famed historian Robert Once upon a Secret: Kennedy, 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: The secret was out. From to , 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. Kennedy declined, but her social secretary, Letitia Baldridge, who also attended Miss Porter's, asked if Ms.
Alford might instead interview her. Alford accepted and went to the White House. While she was there, she met the president. 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: Alford began her internship in June 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. 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. Kennedy was gone that summer with her children; the president was often conveniently alone.
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.
Alford was with the president during some important events. Perhaps she relieved him of stress? It is just unbelievable the things she witnessed. 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.
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. Alford returned to the White House during the summer of Soon, though, the affair petered out.
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 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.
Burdened by the secret for so long and overcome on that particular day, Ms. Alford confessed to him. He was absolutely livid. 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. Alford writes that for thirteen years they had a good marriage. But it was doomed from the start. They divorced in She married Dick Alford in Until , 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. View all 4 comments. May 19, Susan Albert rated it it was amazing Shelves: 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.
Feb 23, Laura rated it did not like it Shelves: 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? Second, I find it interesting that she would publish this in , given it is both an election year with a Democratic This was trash.
Second, I find it interesting that she would publish this in , 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.
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: 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. Sep 21, Book Club Mom 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? The motivation of the memoir writer. But what I came away with was the feeli An Affair to Remember?
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.