In 1964, Mary Pinchot Meyer, the beautiful, rebellious, and intelligent ex-wife of a top CIA official, was killed on a quiet Georgetown towpath near her home. Mary Meyer was a secret mistress of President John F. Kennedy, whom she had known since private school days, and after her death, reports that she had kept a diary set off a tense search by her brother-in-law, newsman Ben Bradlee, and CIA spymaster James Jesus Angleton. But the only suspect in her murder was acquitted, and today her life and death are still a source of intense speculation, as Nina Burleigh reveals in her widely praised book, the first to examine this haunting story.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: A Very Private Woman: The Life and Unsolved Murder of Presidential Mistress Mary Meyer|
|Release Date: 10-21-2009|
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|Publisher: Random House, Inc.|
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A Very Private Woman: The Life and Unsolved Murder of Presidential Mistress Mary Meyer
IntroductionAnyone wanting to write about a member of the silent generation of women that mothered the baby boom and married the cold warriors confronts a peculiar obstacle: Many of these women believe their lives were utterly unremarkable. The cold war wives review years spent raising children and keeping house, arranging dinner parties for dignitaries, making art, or getting jobs. They find their personal histories bland compared to their husbands', men with war wounds on their bodies and secrets of state in their brains, men whose turf ranged from Havana to Moscow and Paris to Bucharest, and whose work altered world history.
When the woman in question had an affair with a married president of the United States and then died violently, the obstacle of humility is compounded by embarrassment and sorrow. Mary Pinchot Meyer's sister and closest friend say they burned her diary, and a CIA official destroyed her other papers, obliterating her voice from history. Her closest surviving friends made an informal pact not to discuss her. Many people who will talk are persuaded-for reasons that have more to do with Mary's access to powerful men and with the tenor of the times than with available facts about the woman herself-that Mary Meyer "knew things" she wasn't supposed to know, and that her death is somehow related to that knowledge. Still others are quite happy to talk, but thirty years and advancing age have dimmed their memories. The protectiveness of her friends, the shame and sorrow of her family, and the political intrigue during her years in Washington have combined to make her life and death mythic, a part of the Kennedy assassination cons...