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Norman Rockwell's Four Freedoms: Images that Inspire a Nation Paperback – January 25, 1993

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Berkshire House Publishers (January 25, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0936399422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0936399423
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,273,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Donald M. Bishop on November 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nearly every Norman Rockwell coffee table book includes his famous "Four Freedoms" paintings. Most tell the basic story behind the works -- how the artist was inspired by President Franklin Roosevelt's State of the Union speech of 1941, how he sought without success to find sponsorship by a government agency, and how the paintings were originally published in four issues of Saturday Evening Post magazine in 1943. This generously illustrated volume by Stuart Murray and James McCabe tells a much more complete -- and much more fascinating -- story.

The two authors begin with President Roosevelt and the genesis of the Four Freedoms speech and the Atlantic Charter. They trace the creative process that resulted in Rockwell's "Freedom of Speech," "Freedom of Worship," "Freedom from Want," and "Freedom from Fear."

Beyond the paintings themselves, Murray and McCabe break new ground. They describe in detail how the paintings were published (first in the magazine and then by the Office of War Information) and how they toured the nation. The first exhibition was in Hecht's Department Store in Washington, with Supreme Court Associate Justice William O. Douglas speaking. The paintings and posters sold many war bonds, and the two authors well describe the organization and spirit of wartime bond marketing.

Looking beyond the artist, Murray and McCabe describe the enthusiastic reception of the paintings by the American public, quoting reviews, commentaries, and letters written by ordinary Americans. Rockwell had correctly sensed that Americans wanted more than words to understand the war aims of the United States and the United Nations.
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