Kennedy, Caroline (Bouvier) 1957-
KENNEDY, Caroline (Bouvier) 1957-
PERSONAL: Born November 27, 1957, in New York, NY; daughter of John Fitzgerald (former president of the United States) and Jacqueline (an editor; maiden name, Bouvier) Kennedy; married Edwin Arthur Schlossberg (a museum exhibit designer), July 19, 1986; children: Rose, Tatiana, and Jack. Education: Harvard College, B.A., 1980, J.D.; Columbia University Law School, J.D., 1988. Religion: Catholic.
ADDRESSES: Home—New York, NY. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Hyperion Books, 77 West 66th St., 11th Floor, New York, NY 10023.
(With Ellen Alderman) In Our Defense: The Bill ofRights in Action, William Morrow (New York, NY), 1991.
(With Ellen Alderman) The Right to Privacy, Knopf (New York, NY), 1995.
(Selector and author of introduction) The Best-LovedPoems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2001.
(Editor and author of introduction) Profiles in Courage for Our Time, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2002.
(Editor) A Patriot's Handbook: Songs, Poems andSpeeches Every American Should Know, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2003.
Contributor to periodicals, including Newsweek and Redbook.
SIDELIGHTS: Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Onassis, was often encouraged by her parents to do whatever she wanted, but to do it well. She followed their advice in school, eventually graduating from college with a degree in law, but then she decided that it was not the legal profession that she aspired to. Over the years, she has worked at various jobs; however, it is through her writing that the public is becoming more acquainted with Kennedy, not just as the daughter of famous parents, but as an interesting and talented individual.
Kennedy's first book, In Our Defense: The Bill of Rights in Action, was coauthored with Ellen Alderman and became a national best seller. In it, Kennedy examines the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution on their two-hundredth birthday. The idea for the book developed when the two lawyers, who were then classmates at Columbia University Law School, read a poll that found more than half of the Americans questioned were unable to identify the Bill of Rights. In Our Defense, written as a response to this statistic, highlights recent cases that illustrate how each amendment is interpreted in the courtroom and how far each extends. Critics have compared the chapters in the book to short stories that evoke the often-odd experiences of the individuals involved in the cases. Reviewers have also praised the manner in which the book emphasizes the humanity of these people, rather than reducing them to the faceless status often reserved for litigants.
One of the most frequently cited examples is the case of Jacqueline Bouknight, a Baltimore woman who, when suspected of abusing her son and ordered to bring him to court, refused to do so because she felt the order violated her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Withholding the details of her son's whereabouts even after the court ruled that its request was constitutional, Bouknight was jailed on contempt of court charges while her son remained missing. Her argument questions the law's effectiveness with respect to child abuse cases and is an example of how Kennedy and Alderman stress the Bill of Rights' influence on everyday American life. Kennedy told Carol Clurman in USA Weekend that she and Alderman "want people to realize that the Bill of Rights is not just a dusty document, but really has a human face." Chicago Tribune contributor Stephanie B. Goldberg wrote, "In the end, one can simplify the law and one can glamorize it with sexy cases, but at its heart is a process of rigorous analysis. Because Alderman and Kennedy are good lawyers, that is what In Our Defense does best."
Four years later, Kennedy teamed up with Alderman again, and they wrote The Right to Privacy. Their second book is not exactly a sequel to the first, but the purpose and writing style of both books is similar. The Right to Privacy is the result of detailed research that the women conducted where they discovered that the right to privacy of individuals is being violated more and more consistently at the workplace, in the press, and via the Internet. Typical cases in which people's rights are being dishonored include strip searches by police officers for minor offenses; the over-use of metal detectors and drug testing; and the abuse of overmedication, to name a few. Since Kennedy had been raised in full public view, Elizabeth Gleick, for Time, suggested that it was no wonder that Kennedy might be interested in the topic of privacy, when her childhood consisted of so little of it. Gleick also pointed out that although Kennedy demonstrates the many ways that individual rights to privacy are abused, the book does not offer any easy solutions. The book does, however, make readers aware of their rights. "For those unfamiliar with the legal right to privacy," wrote Kevin P. Quinn, for America, "Alderman and Kennedy offer a fine (and canonical) introduction."
In 2001, Kennedy turned her attention to some family memories, putting together a collection of her mother's best-loved poems. The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis includes works by Carl Sandburg, e.e. cummings, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and even some lyrics written by Jacqueline, herself—poems that Kennedy admitted (as quoted in a review of the book by Ray Olson for Booklist) might have "embarrassed her mother to see in print." There was no need for embarrassment, however, as the book enjoyed a long stay on the New York Times bestseller list.
A few years later, Kennedy turned her attention to her father, or at least to one of her father's accomplishments. In 1957, President Kennedy, while recuperating from a back injury, wrote Profiles in Courage, a book that would go on to win a Pulitzer Prize. In 2002, the president's daughter collected another group of essays, written about people who have won the nowestablished Kennedy family's Profiles in Courage Award for selfless public service. Some of the recipients include Senators John McCain and Russell Feingold. Authors who have contributed essays to this collection are almost as impressive as the subjects that they have written about. They include Anna Quindlen and Bob Woodward, who have made this book, as stated by a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, "a stirring look at people" who, as President Kennedy had suggested, asked not what someone else could do for them but what they could do for others.
In 2003, Kennedy edited A Patriot's Handbook: Songs, Poems and Speeches Every American Should Know. The book is a compendium of patriotic literature, from popular patriotic songs and famous speeches, to reprintings of famous documents, such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. A Publishers Weekly reviewer felt that readers would be rewarded by "Kennedy's thoughtful arrangement of works of historical significance and literary quality."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
America, April 20, 1996, Kevin P. Quinn, review of The Right to Privacy, p. 28.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, October 28, 2001, Teresa K. Weaver, "Becoming Well-Versed in Camelot: A Clutch of Beloved Poems and Other New Works Reveal More of the Kennedy Mystique," p. B4.
Booklist, August 2001, Ray Olson, review of The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, p. 2077; March 1, 2003, Brad Hooper, review of A Patriot's Handbook: Songs, Poems and Speeches Every American Should Know, p. 1106.
Chicago Tribune, February 26, 1991, section 2, p. 3.
Detroit Free Press, February 10, 1991.
Good Housekeeping, October 2001, Elizabeth Kastor, "Caroline Kennedy: You Just Keep Going: Intimate Talk about Her Life Today, Keeping Her Mother's Memory Alive, and the Lessons She's Teaching Her Children," pp. 148-155.
Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2002, review of Profiles inCourage for Our Time, p. 311.
Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service, July 23, 1999, Elmer Smith, "Among Caroline's Finer Qualities, a Respect for Privacy," p. K2915.
McCall's, September, 1987, pp. 15, 19-20; November, 1991, pp. 126, 188-190.
New York Times, February 8, 1991, p. B16.
People, August 4, 1986, p. 30.
Publishers Weekly, April 8, 2002, Dann McDorman, "PW Talks with Caroline Kennedy" and review of Profiles in Courage for Our Time p. 214; April 7, 2003, review of A Patriot's Handbook, p. 57.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 19, 2001, Charles Guenther, "Poetry Gets a Lift from U.S. Laureate and Jackie Kennedy Onassis," p. E1.
Time, November 6, 1995, Elizabeth Gleick, review of The Right to Privacy, p. 73.
USA Weekend, February 1, 1991, pp. 4-5.*