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A moving account of the lifelong friendship between a flaming heterosexual and rampant womaniser and a likeable, witty and charismatic man who just happened to prefer the company of men - a friendship that began at prep school and continued to the last days of JFK's life.Lem was so close to both JFK and his wife that he famously had his own bedroom at the White House and was probably President Kennedy's most trusted confidant.Having said this, to fully enjoy this very insightful book, you really should have an interest in JFK's life and history.Lem Billings was certainly an interesting fellow in is one right, make no mistake.I am presently reading this book and cannot put it down!It is an amazing story of a special bond these two men shared. I highly recommend this book for two reasons: it provides a personal side of JFK we rarely see and we also are exposed to JFK's views on WWII and our involvement with the fight against Hitler. The account is sometimes repetitious, and Pitts (perhaps in deference to RFK Jr.) skirts the previously documented issue of Lem's relationship with the younger Kennedy generation, which purportedly included drug use.

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But interviews with principals familiar with the relatioinship shed light on the story.The son of a Pittsburgh physician, Billings first met JFK in the early 1930s at Choate, where they systematically set about violating every campus rule possible.Although Lem was gay, their relationship was evidently always platonic and continued through WWII and after, as Billings pursued a career in advertising while also devoting much energy to advancing Kennedy's political career.I really enjoyed this book - and truth be told I was surprised that a good Catholic boy like JFK was so open-minded and tolerant as to remain lifelong friends with Lem (after politely rebuffing his advances during adolescence) and to include him in his inner circle - presumably in spite of the potential risk of adverse publicity (at time when homosexuality was illegal), but Lem was discreet and dignified and seems to have values loyalty to his friend above all else.Aside from the valuable insights into the life of President Kennedy the man, his family, his challenges and of his administration, this book is a masterpiece, a powerful tribute to the enduring value of true friendship, and in many ways it reveals Jack Kennedy, although flawed and imperfect, to have been a man who inspired the devotion, dedication and loyalty of those around him as well as being a man well ahead of his times. This is a fascinating exploration of a heretofore unknown story, the unwavering lifelong friendship between the most charismatic political figure of our time and a gay man who wanted nothing from the relationship but friendship.

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