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Excerpt & Critical Praise

Ellen Fitzpatrick has selected approximately 250 of these letters for inclusion in Letters to Jackie, a remarkable human record that perfectly preserves the heart-wrenching grief and soul searching of the nation in a time of crisis.


        On November 23, 1963, a day after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Katherine Dowd Jackson sat down in herhome in rural North Carolina and took out her "letter box"–a cardboard suitcase where she kept white-lined paper and a pen for important occasions. Mrs. Jackson had a third-grade education, but she enjoyed writing. She was moved especially at this moment to express her deeply felt sentiments. "Dear beloved one," she began her letter to Jacqueline Kennedy. Read a full excerpt of Letters To Jackie

Letters To Jackie Official Trail

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Critical Praise for Letters To Jackie

“The is a terrific, original, and important work, the perfect match between subject and author. With a historian's grasp of time and place and a novelist's feel for drama and detail, Fitzpatrick provides a stunningly fresh look at the impact of JFK's assassination on the American people.”

—Doris Kearns Goodwin

“Ellen Fitzpatrick's wonderful book–which is both a perceptive history of the public response to John Kennedy's death and a selection of the millions of letters that followed the assassination–is a remarkable window into the character of the nation in the 1960s.”

—Alan Brinkley