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A Time it Was: Bobby Kennedy in the Sixties Hardcover – June 1, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bill Eppridge is one of the most accomplished photojournalists of the twentieth century and has captured some of the most significant moments in American history. Over the last 50 years, his work has appeared in numerous publications, including National Geographic, Life, and Sports Illustrated. Pete Hamill is a journalist, essayist, and author of two collections of short stories and ten novels, including Snow in August, Forever, and North River. He is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University. John E. Frook is the former Los Angeles Bureau Chief for Life magazine.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; First Edition edition (June 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810971224
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810971226
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #484,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
On the surface, 'A Time It Was' may seem like yet another book about the Kennedys. It is most definitely not.

The book is the story of Bill Eppridge, the photographer who took *the* famous shot of a grief-stricken busboy holding Robert Kennedy as he bled to death on a kitchen floor. It's a hauntingly beautiful picture. In fact, it's impossible not to get lost in it: What could have been going on in the minds of a dying Senator and a startled busboy as bedlam unfolded? Do their eyes reveal anything? If so, what do they tell us? These are questions that have probably been asked a million times and answered in a just as many ways.

But what about the photographer? It's easy to forget him. You see things unfold through his eyes, but you don't see him. Yet, this is someone who, in the chaos of an assassination, had enough wits about him to make a picture. In Eppridge's case, he didn't just make a picture. He made one of the most searing images of the 20th century.

'A Time It Was' reveals how this historic photo got made. But it also reminds us that Eppridge made all kinds of pictures (as opposed to just taking them)--and they are bold and graceful, subtle and extravagant, gritty and funny. The book isn't just a salute to RFK, its one man's tribute to the art of photojournalism, in circumstances full of pomp and tragedy. And anyone interested in photography would do well by picking it up.
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Format: Hardcover
The first actual memory I have is sitting at the foot of my parent's bed watching RFK's funeral on TV. I was 5 and I had made a little matchbox car motorcade with a flag draped box for a hearse. So maybe this moment in history, which I have subsequently learned more about, might color my review a bit.

The pictures are really beautiful and I don't recall seeing many of them before. The accompanying narrative is very well done and offers insights to the RFK moment. I am a big Obama fan mainly because I feel he brings the energy and imagination that was promised by RFK. If you want a very good book about an inspiring man and a once in a generation moment get this.
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Format: Hardcover
If there ever was a time our country needs to look back in history for help, it certainly is now. This book captures that time. Great insight from a photographer seldom seen today in a presidential campaign. It will make you smile, it will make you cry.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've heard it said, that with Bobby, you really had to be there. I'm one who was, and to a large extent, that's true. It's hard to put into words what we all felt in those times, especially 1968, the worst year I ever remember. But the images in this book, go a long way toward giving the reader a feel for what it was like in those tumultuous days. For those of us who lived it, and lived through it, they are a heartbreaking reminder of what we lost, (can it be?) forty years ago.

The title comes from a Paul Simon song, "Old Friends." It was played at the end of the TV coverage of Bobby's funeral. I'll never forget it.

Time it was, and what a time it was,
It was...a time of innocence, a time of confidences.
Long ago, it must be...
I have a photograph.
Preserve your memories.
They're all that's left you.
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Format: Hardcover
Bill Eppridge's skillful photography combined with his eloquent text makes for a superb photojournalistic book on Bobby Kennedy. The pictures in the book are extraordinarily unique and truly new for many of us to see - as the pictures provide a critical insight to the kind of man Bobby was, and not just the politician Bobby. This is the kind of book that one can peruse countless times and still feel inspired by the extremely rich quality of photojournalism.

Highly recommended for all who have a passion or interest in Bobby Kennedy, political campaigning, the 1960's, and photography.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you lived during the times of JFK and RFK, this is a moving photographic portrayal of RFK's life and political rise in the '60s. Especially moving are the photographs taken of the crowds along the long route of RFK's funeral train. One can see, as I remember, America weeping at the loss of yet another leader by assassination during that tumultuous decade. The essay by Hamill is compelling. The power of this book is in its insistence that we not forget our history, that we not forget how the lives and deaths of people like RFK shaped our culture, leaning us in directions toward less violent ways to contend with dissent.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Author Peter Hamill provides us with a wonderful essay about Robert Kennedy and his times at the beginning of this book, but it is the photographs that make this the book what it is. Study the faces closely. You see hope, joy, ecstasy, weariness, and sadness to name a few. It takes incredible talent to see a message that a photograph conveys for ever so brief a period of time, and photographer Bill Eppridge had done that in bringing back Robert Kennedy's campaign across America in 1968 as he sought the Democratic nomination for president. You hear it often said that a photograph is worth one thousand words, and this book is a good testament to that phrase. It is not absolutely necessary, but I would suggest reading The Last Campaign by author Thurston Clarke prior to reviewing the photographs in A Time It Was: Bobby Kennedy in the Sixties. I feel it will give you a better appreciation of this time period in American history.
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