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Jackie Kennedy tapes reveal she loathed the French... but what about the Irish?

The audio recordings and new book about the former first lady reveal her thoughts on everything from world leaders to her husband’s inner Irish circle.

Image: AP Photo/File

TAPES OF INTERVIEWS conducted with former US first lady Jacqueline Kennedy have revealed what she really thought and felt about a number of issues, from the French to Martin Luther King.

The audio recordings from 1964 have been released to coincide with a book edited by her daughter Caroline Kennedy, entitled ‘Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy’.

The seven-part interview was conducted by historian and friend to JFK Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

The BBC reports that the tapes reveal that Jackie Kennedy thought that Martin Luther King was a “terrible man”. She also said that she’d heard that Martin Luther King had one occasion organised a “sort of an orgy” in a hotel.

The former first lady also revealed that after meeting French president Charles de Gaulle in 1961 she was disappointed after finding him “full of spite” ans “an egomaniac”, and as for the French themselves…

I loathe the French… They are not very nice, they are all for themselves.

Irish Central reports that the new book also reveals how Jackie Kennedy felt about the Irish and her husband’s Irish roots. She said that she felt that his close Irish friends – who she dubbed the ‘Irish mafia’ – were bitter about everyone else in his circle.

She also said that she wasn’t a fan of Edward Kennedy’s Irish approach to political campaigning, saying:

Jack never said ‘Hi fella’ or put his fat palm under your armpit, or any of that sort of business.

Kennedy also said that the Irish had a tendancy towards feeling persecuted, while she called her husband’s Catholic habit of kneeling each night to say his prayers a “childish mannerism”.

Intimate details about the couple’s relationship have also been revealed. Jackie told how JFK cried after the botched invasion of the Bay of Pigs and said that when she asked him once what his one wish could be if he could have one, he said:

I wish I had more good times.

About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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