Top positive review
49 people found this helpful
Camelot comes to life...
on November 23, 2010
This is a gorgeous book. I stopped by a local bookstore today, just browsing, and came across this beautiful collection of photographs and stories. The price here on Amazon is considerably cheaper than what I paid but I purchased the book intending to send it to my Mother and wanted to have a chance to peruse it myself before passing it along. Now I am wishing I just ordered two copies- I still may.
This book has considerable heft but the overall size isn't impractical like so many 'coffee-table books'. As a photographer, I could have spent hours studying the photographs- many formal or set up but maybe even more candid. Some may find the candid shots the most telling, the most moving. Somehow, though, for me- the mix of staged photos was particularly poignant. I suppose that is because between the two, one gets a sense of the enormous burden of hope and expectation Kennedy shouldered upon stepping up to lead the nation. From family photos documenting days spent at Hyannis Port to press photos as Kennedy signed legislation in the Oval Office, this books provides a multifaceted look at JFK's presidency.
Ever the enticing enigma, Jackie, like a living Mona Lisa, smiles up from the pages as she cares for her children, the dutiful young wife and mother at her husband's side. Some of the stories and candid pictures reveal a glimpse of the woman beneath the careful and classy exterior. Even in her most casual moments, she seems swathed in glamor- she certainly was a lady above all else. Loved the anecdote about her address at the Orange Bowl- said to have been delivered perfectly in Spanish.
Really a wonderful collection. I'm not big on coffee table books- especially considering I don't have a coffee table but this is a book that someone might pour over for a good hour or two. I certainly couldn't pass up the opportunity to browse through it before sending it off- and once I started, I was sucked in. I think this would make a lovely gift for a Kennedy-phile (I'm not and I really enjoyed it) and certainly would be an interesting conversation starter as a 'coffee table book'.
A DVD of family movies is included. As an Equestrienne, I loved the footage of Jackie jumping her horses and leading her kids around on horseback. There are some very sweet moments captured- nice to glimpse into a First Family that truly was first a family. There were definitely good times and not just for show. Cecil Stoughton and Richard Reeves give us a lovely commemoration of the Kennedy Whitehouse, even if thoroughly steeped in the rosy glow of nostalgia.