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Book: JFK scorned idea of Johnson as president

September 9, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A new book gives insight into the Kennedy Administration.

The book, "Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy," is a compilation of interviews with the former first lady.

Over seven sessions with historian and former Kennedy aide Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., she recalled conversations on topics ranging from her husband's reading habits to the botched Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba.

According to Jacqueline Kennedy, the president also talked with his brother, then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, about how to keep Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson from ever becoming president.

The former first lady said her husband openly scorned the idea that Johnson would ever hold the job. John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, and Johnson succeeded him.

The book barely mentions the president's assassination. Jacqueline Kennedy, clearly at ease, speaks candidly about her in-laws and about other Kennedy insiders.

The former first lady, who died in 1994, and Schlesinger, who died in 2007, at times sound like a couple of old friends sharing gossip, ridiculing Richard Nixon's wife, Pat, or labeling LBJ's wife, Lady Bird, as so obedient she was like a "trained hunting dog."

The book comes with eight audio CDs of the interviews. It is set to be released on Sept. 14.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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