SPECIAL PEOPLE by Julie Nixon Eisenhower


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Family connections have given Julie access to these six special people, presented in wholly unmemorable portraits that combine common knowledge with trivialities and wispy speculations. All except Ruth Graham Bell (Billy's wife) have received ample press coverage and all--including Mao--share a reluctant accommodation to the demands of public life, a subject Julie knows best. To the already familiar stories of Golda's marital failure or Lindbergh's transatlantic flight she adds numbing banalities: for Anne Lindbergh, Charles' ""death must leave an awful void in her life."" Her judgments are shallow (""Golda Meir is not a complicated person"") and unconvincing (""Mamie Doud Eisenhower has star quality"") and her inclusion of inconsequential detail suggests a stack of 3"" x 5"" cards by the typewriter. Who cares if Anne Lindbergh drives a brown Pinto station wagon or Ruth Graham has cat hair problems on her top floor? The chapter on Mao (a ""surprise"" summons, although she had a letter from Father with her) is, more precisely, a description of her trip to China with David tagging along. The view of Prince Charles is from a distance: as dutiful daughter, she joined the entourage that escorted him around Washington during a state visit. Several times she flirts with personal revelation--especially when struggling with the Lindbergh family's discomfort over Charles' WW II statements--but she never poses sticky questions or rebels against receiving-line protocols. Written with all the insight and adventure of a press release, this is an indulgent exercise throwing little light on its all-star cast.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1977
Publisher: Simon & Schuster