Now You Know
Now You Know
Most of us came to know Kitty Dukakis during the 1988 presidential campaign. Politically and personally, she was an integral part of Michael Dukakis's quest for the presidency: perhaps his greatest asset. When the campaign was over, however, Kitty faced the goughest fight of her life---a private, ongoing struggle to overcome depression and the addiction to alcohol and pills that accompanied it.
In NOW YOU KNOW, Kitty speaks her mind with the same unflinching toughness and candor that characterized her media appearances throughout the campaign. It is an intimate and remarkably revealing look at a seemingly blessed, yet terribly troubled, life, an unforgettable self-portrait of a woman in crisis.
As the daughter of a violinist in the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Kitty Dickson grew up on a house where it was simply assumed that she would excel. Her mother---a sometimes distant and daunting figure---was a perfectionist who set a high standard for her daughter to meet. Ironically, it was following her mother's example that Kitty started taking diet pills, setting in motion a 26-year-long addiction.
She speaks of her failed first marriage, entered into in haste, partly in an effort to escape her mother's influence. Then Kitty met and fell in love with Michael Dukakis, marrying him and using her seemingly boundless energy to help him in his political rise through the ranks of the Massachusetts Democratic party, all the while raising their family, all the while successfully hiding from her husband her addiction to diet pills.
She write about the presidential campaign as no one has ever done before, taking us behind the scenes to show us what it was really like on the national campaign trail. She tells about the highs---the exhilaration of primary victories, the warmth of the crowds---and of the lows---seeing her husband ridiculed in the press, confronting Michael after the hurt of the second televised debate. She discusses Jesse Jackson and her ambivalent feelings toward him---her respect for him as a leader, her disappointment at his pettiness toward her and Michael.
Above all, she writes with absolute candor about her most recent troubles---the much-publicized rubbing alcohol incident before Christmas last year, as well as other, heretofore undisclosed, episodes.
Ultimately, NOW YOU KNOW is a book about Kitty Dukakis's ongoing struggle to overcome problems of insecurity and depression, and the attendant addiction to alcohol and pills. It is an open-ended story, moving in its emotional intensity, unsettling in its absolute honesty, a look into the private adversities of a public person, whose problems will strike a note of instant recognition in countless readers.