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Kennedy Through the Lens: How Photography and Television Revealed and Shaped an Extraordinary Leader

Overview

As the well-reviewed Through the Lens series continues, Sandler aims the spotlight on John F. Kennedy, one of our most photogenic presidents, providing insight into how JFK used the new medium of television and the advances in color photography to further his ambitious agenda. Sandler's extensive research at the Kennedy

Library sheds light on key events in Kennedy's lifetime that combine to provide an intimate portrait of the man as a brother, ...

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Overview

As the well-reviewed Through the Lens series continues, Sandler aims the spotlight on John F. Kennedy, one of our most photogenic presidents, providing insight into how JFK used the new medium of television and the advances in color photography to further his ambitious agenda. Sandler's extensive research at the Kennedy

Library sheds light on key events in Kennedy's lifetime that combine to provide an intimate portrait of the man as a brother, a father, an activist, and a president. Out in time for the 50th anniversary of

Kennedy's inauguration, this will be an essential addition to any

Kennedy collection.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A fascinating photo-essay. Kennedy’s life and administration were documented with a groundbreaking intimacy the public had never known before, making this an accessible, insightful perspective on one of America’s most famous presidents.”

—Kirkus Reviews

 

“A subject particularly well suited to the photo-essay format. As in his other Through the Lens titles, Sandler offers an engaging, insightful introduction to his subject through both visuals and text.”

—Booklist

 

“Photographs throughout the title are, of course, deftly selected and gloriously reproduced in both color and black and white. This will be a valuable supplement to students researching the president himself, and required reading for kids interested in media.”

—BCCB

VOYA - Laura Panter
John F. Kennedy is considered the most photogenic United States president, although he served little more than a thousand days of his presidential term. What made Kennedy likable to the public was his accessibility and charisma. He met as many constituents as he could and made himself available through televised speeches. He allowed his family to be photographed candidly, rather than posed in formal settings. His family life was an open book to the public, and the White House became a real home. By televising his presidential speeches, Kennedy reached millions of people around the globe, making his words relevant for years to come. His accomplishments include the establishment of the Peace Corps, a physical fitness plan for young people still used today, and the negotiation of the first nuclear test-ban treaty. Kennedy's determination to develop space exploration landed the first person on the moon in 1969, and his attention to the arts elevated its importance in our society. Sandler expertly portrays how photography and television helped mold a remarkable political leader. The book is not suitable for in-depth research, but Sandler outlines Kennedy's notable accomplishments in an easy-to-read format including quotes from Kennedy's speeches throughout the text. The book is a treasure of magnificent photographs depicting both Kennedy's political and personal life in pictures. This is a stellar title for middle school or high school readers interested in history and politics who enjoy browsing rather than reading scholarly works. This would be a good purchase for school and public library collections. Reviewer: Laura Panter
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
Subtitled "How Photography and Television Revealed and Shaped an Extraordinary Leader," Sandler looks back at President John F. Kennedy fifty years after his inauguration as the thirty-fifth President of the United States. Through carefully selected photographs and a streamlined text, readers will understand how television and photographs shaped his presidency. Major challenges, such as the Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis, the space race, and the civil rights movement are presented. The presidential debate between Kennedy and Nixon that changed American politics, the assassination of Kennedy, and his funeral elucidate the time period. Family background and relaxing times at the compound in Hyannis are also here. The photographs, their captions, and the quotes from Kennedy, along with the text, provide insight into this charismatic, articulate, inspirational, and photographic president. Sandler has rightfully selected many well-known photos. This is a fine introduction to JFK and his administration for all readers. With its many full-page photographs, this title will engage reluctant readers. Back matter includes descriptions of three places to visit, a bibliography, and websites. Within the sources, he gives directions on how to access photos online at the JFK Library. Sources are provided for the Kennedy quotes that appear on each double-page spread. Recommended for all libraries. Reviewed in galley. The final book will be high-resolution, full-color on glossy stock. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
Kirkus Reviews

As he did inLincoln Through the Lens(2008), Sandler offers a fascinating photo-essay examining how images shaped public perceptions of John F. Kennedy. In Kennedy's case, it was television and advances in color photography and photojournalism that were influential. One of America's most photogenic presidents, Kennedy was an astute user of the media. Following the format of the otherThrough the Lensbooks, each spread is a self-contained "chapter," with one page of text and a full-page photograph, many in color. The book begins with an overview of Kennedy's life and the role that photography and television played in his career. Subsequent spreads are chronological, covering Kennedy's life from childhood through assassination. The author notes the significance of the Kennedy presidency's being the first to be photographed mostly in color, "perfect for capturing the glamour that came to be associated with the Kennedy years." Kennedy's life and administration were documented with a groundbreaking intimacy the public had never known before, making this an accessible, insightful perspective on one of America's most famous presidents. (further reading and websites, source notes, index)(Biography. 10-14)

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—This photo-biography is similar in format to Sandler's Lincoln: Through the Lens (Walker, 2008). Black-and-white and color photographs, some better known than others, accompany Sandler's commentary and quotes from JFK. Even before the title page, the author engages readers with a few photographs, and, after the introduction, provides a semi-chronological record of the man's life from his early years to his assassination. He balances Kennedy's professional role with entries on the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, and the Cold War alongside his private life, and he touches on how even candid family photographs aided him politically. When discussing the controversial subjects of Kennedy's infidelities and his physical ailments, Sandler does not sensationalize them. In his coverage of the images surrounding the assassination, he provides readers with a sense of why these pictures have such significance. A page on the Special Olympics, which President Kennedy's sister Eunice established in 1968, seems an odd inclusion. It also seems inappropriate for Sandler, in a caption for a photograph of the funeral procession, to refer to Kennedy as a martyr. Though this title is accessible and well researched, the criticisms make it less appealing as a biography.—Hilary Writt, Sullivan University, Lexington, KY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802721600
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 1/4/2011
  • Series: Through the Lens Series
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 1,273,314
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Sandler

Martin W. Sandler has won five Emmy Awards for his writing for television and is the author of more than sixty books, two of which have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Among Sandler's other books are the six volumes in his award-winning Library of Congress American History Series for Young People,

a series which has sold more than 500,000 copies. Mr. Sandler has taught American history at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and at Smith College, and lives in with his wife in Massachusetts.

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