Jacqueline B. Kennedy signed as an editor at the Viking Press. Her earnings were typical of the time averaging about 10,000 dollars per year. Kornbluth states that “ Jacqueline’ s terms of employment were however quite different from other editors: her week spanned three working days and she would only work mornings leaving the office after lunch. Furthermore, she would spend her summers away from the office on Martha’ s Vineyard (1)” . In 1977, the President of the Viking establishment bought and signed rights to the publishing of a novel authored by Jeffrey Archer, ‘ Shall we tell the president’ .
The novel had a theme of a fictional presidency of Edward Kennedy set in the future that would be compromised by an assassination attempt. Despite the fact that the president of the Viking press had discussed with and got Jacqueline’ s approval on the new purchase and signing, a negative review in a daily newspaper citing Jacqueline as having had substantial responsibility in its theme and publication prompted her to resign from Viking press the day following this review. This novel had come to close to her bitter history. Jacqueline then sought employment at Doubleday.
At this establishment, she held the position of an associate editor working under an old acquaintance of hers, John Sargent. Historians believe that Jacqueline was still ‘ a bit green’ upon her move to Doubleday citing her perception and sentiments on a publishing deal between Viking and her friend, Carly Simon, which would see Carly lose out on 100,000 dollars after negotiations. Jackie led the negotiations and would later recollect that she felt like they were unfair and shrewd. As an associate editor, she quickly gained favor with authors and was frequently sought by them.
Kuhn notes that “ She had a taste and wanted to publish the books that best reflected her as an editor and those she could relate to. Through her choices, she expressed her sentiments on issues like the sacred institution of marriage, mistresses, Marilyn Monroe, Maria Calla and the publicity of private life in the best public way she could” (42).
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