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Portrait of Camelot: A Thousand Days in the Kennedy White House Hardcover – November 1, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard Reeves has received dozens of awards for his work in print, television, and film. He is Senior Lecturer at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

 

Cecil Stoughton studied with Alfred Eisenstadt and Margaret Bourke-White in the U.S. Army photographer training program and then joined the Army’s Public Information Office.

 

Harvey Sawler is a Canadian author who interviewed Cecil Stoughton extensively before the photographer’s death in 2008.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; 1 edition (November 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810995859
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810995857
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1.2 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Richard of Connecticut VINE VOICE on December 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
What you have here is Cecil Stoughton (died in 2008) who was TRUSTED by John and Jacqueline Kennedy to create a photographic history of their 1000 days in the White House. Imagine it, here's the ultimate couple, a photographer's dream, even more attractive than Hollywood's top casting agents could dream up, and photographs from the first ever White House photographer. The results are spectacular.

You have of course the pictures in the White House, many of which have never been seen before. There's one of John -John alone in the Rose Garden which is quite unique. There are also pictures in Hyannis Port with the family relaxing. It's literally all here and it's magical.

Prominent historian Richard Reeves has written the narrative to this book. In addition to JFK, he has written acclaimed biographies of Presidents Reagan, and Nixon. It is very fitting and appropriate that Stoughton's work is being strengthened by Reeves's written contributions.

There are a few things you need to know before you order the book:

1) All the pictures were done using 1960's chemical based photography, or another words pre-digital, but they are still spectacular.

2) Keep in mind that John Kennedy's father, Joseph Kennedy at one time owned the RKO Motion Picture Studios. This means the father always had access to the finest cameras, photographers, and techniques available. Joe Kennedy was always thinking ahead, and historian Richard Reeves has made the point that the father knew exactly what he was doing when he had the home movies made in terms of their political implications decades later.

3) There are many pictures in the book that Jackie would have never allowed due to privacy.
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Format: Hardcover
I looked through a copy of this book today and was struck by the dimensions this book has. There are photos that feel very imperfect, as if casual family photos or "outtakes". Others feel more formal, more what I am used to seeing in Kennedy-related photo reprints. I am certain I haven't seen most of the photos in this book before, though I am not an expert by any means (just a casual reader who is happy to leaf through any Kennedy-related titles).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a collection of hundreds of family photographs of the Kennedy first family (mostly JFK, Jackie, Caroline and John) taken at the White House and family homes over the course of Kennedy's presidency. The photos in this book really are riveting. They have some kind of quality to them. It was as if John Kennedy knew somehow that he was living a life that would turn into mythology and he played it for all he could. In some, the Kennedy family could be any family. In others, their regalness and star quality was obvious. In this day and age of the deafening, mind-numbingly crushing blare of constant media and information assault, these photos seem quiet; like a breezy summer afternoon punctuated only by the sound of a distance lawnmower. It's also funny seeing photos and home movies of a very pregnant first lady smoking and the first children riding standing up in the front seat of a convertible. How did we manage before the government ran our lives? Kennedy fan or not, this book is more than a collection of staged photos. It's an invitation for even the most cynical of us, to come and believe in Camelot.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having grown up during these times, I wanted to refresh my memories. These photos took me back to a time when America could do anything it set its collective mind to. It may not have been the greatest presidency, but it certainly was one of the more noble ones.
If you enjoy history, and want to see some great images form the Kennedy era, this is it.
I have accumulated many books over the years, mostly dealing with the assasination,but there were relatively few books that just covered the times from his public office.
The quality of the book is great, the majority of photos are sharp and clear, and in color. Something that back then I rarely saw. Newsprint and TV were black & white predominately.
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Format: Hardcover
I first saw this battered and well perused copy of "Portrait of Camelot" book at my local Borders store shortly before Christmas 2010. I was memorized and bedazzled by the evocative photographs of the Kennedy years, many of which I have never seen before. There is an accompanying DVD of Kennedy family scenes which I have not seen yet. I must have spent a good twenty minutes looking through the book and a wave of melancholy and sadness swept over me. I was only three when President Kennedy was assassinated and have no memory of his Presidency. I sighed after glimpsing in this book of an America more confident and sure of itself than it presently is. A woman at the otherside of the table noticed my reaction and said "Sad isn't it? I had the same reaction and feelings myself after looking at it." I was pleasantly surprised on Christmas morning that I received "Portrait of Camelot" as a gift and it now sits on my coffee table.
For those who are Kennedy admirers or those interested in his Presidency, this book is highly recommended.
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