ISBN 9780224081566,American Adulterer

American Adulterer


Jed Mercurio


Random House



Random House

Publication Year 2009

ISBN 9780224081566

ISBN-10 022408156X

Hard Back

Number of Pages 368 Pages
Language (English)

General & literary fiction

'The subject is American citizen holding high elected office, married and father to a young family...'

From its opening line, American Adulterer explores the life of a habitual womaniser in hypnotically clinical prose. The subject regards his high libido as physiologically normal;if he goes without a woman for three days, he suffers withdrawal symptoms. Yet this particular philanderer is in no position to live with bohemian abandon. He must be circumspect in his choice of partners and employ careful calculation in their seduction. He must go to extraordinary lengths to conceal his affairs from his wife and his political rivals - and with good reason, since he is the 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Jed Mercurio shows us Kennedy's affairs with Marilyn Monroe, mob moll Judith Campbell, libertine Mary Meyer, and his flings with numerous White House staff, including his tryst with a nineteen-year-old intern whose unofficial role was to provide sexual release for the man who was Leader of the Free world during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Yet he never demonises his subject, instead offering a sympathetic and wholly credible portrait of a virtuous man in the grip of an uncontrollable vice. Each affair propels President Kennedy into increasingly murky waters. He fears losing the wife and children to whom he's devoted, and the office to which he's dedicated. And despite being crippled by back pain, and suffering from a range of other debilitating ailments, Kennedy is a highly effective Commander-in-Chief, with an idealistic vision of America.

Through its study of an important historical figure, this remarkable, ground-breaking novel poses controversial questions about society's evolving fixation on the private lives of public officials and, ultimately ignites a polemic on monogamy, marriage and traditional family values.

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