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E842.1 .L83 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Jack and Jackie sailing at Hyannis Port. President Kennedy smiling and confident with the radiant first lady by his side in Dallas shortly before the assassination. The Zapruder film. Jackie Kennedy mourning at the funeral while her small son salutes the coffin. These images have become larger than life; more than simply photographs of a president, or of celebrities, or of a tragic event, they have an extraordinary power to captivate--today as in their own time. In Shooting Kennedy, David Lubin speculates on the allure of these and other iconic images of the Kennedys, using them to illuminate the entire American cultural landscape. He draws from a spectacularly varied intellectual and visual terrain--neoclassical painting, Victorian poetry, modern art, Hollywood films, TV sitcoms--to show how the public came to identify personally with the Kennedys and how, in so doing, they came to understand their place in the world. This heady mix of art history, cultural history, and popular culture offers an evocative, consistently entertaining look at twentieth-century America.

Marilyn Monroe, Sylvia Plath, Donna Reed, Playboy magazine, Jack Ruby, the Rosenbergs, and many more personalities, little-known events, and behind-the-scenes stories of the era enliven Lubin's account as he unlocks the meaning of these photographs of the Kennedys. Elegantly conceived, witty, and intellectually daring, Shooting Kennedy becomes a stylish meditation on the changing meanings of visual phenomena and the ways they affect our thinking about the past, the present, and the process of history.

Author Notes

David M. Lubin is Charlotte C. Weber Professor of Art at Wake Forest University.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Acutely aware that there has always been more than mere tabloid curiosity fueling collective fascination with the 35th president, Wake Forest professor of art Lubin (Titanic) examines images from the life and death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy with wit, a keen eye and an extraordinarily broad range of reference. Though rich in biographical minutiae, Lubin's image-centered approach is primarily art-historical. Combing through 110 b&w images that range from the gruesome Zapruder stills to such little-seen images as that of a bare-chested Kennedy radiantly rising from the sea, Lubin juxtaposes them with everything from the paintings of Winslow Homer to Dr. No. Through the nine chapters, Lubin's exuberant if relentless method yields inevitably mixed results. If the echoes of Winslow Homer that Lubin finds in an image of Jack and Jackie sailing at Hyannisport are subtly drawn out, a long comparison of the Kennedys' open car in Dallas with the jalopy of the Beverly Hilbillies is just a little too clever for its own good. And Lubin's sometimes breathless prose ("Jack and Jackie were all about hair") can be a little exhausting. But for a book stuffed with provocative ideas, Shooting Kennedy's average is surprisingly good. The daring of Lubin's approach is as instructive as his often startling results, making this book a compelling speculative companion to David Wrone's frame-by-frame, just-the-facts analysis in The Zapruder Film (Forecasts, Oct. 6). (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The assassination of President Kennedy 40 years ago this month jolted Americans into the realization that their country would never be the same, says Wrone. This history of the 26-second Zapruder film and its role in the criminal investigation argues forcefully that Kennedy was shot by more than one person, none of whom was Lee Harvey Oswald. Wrone is neither a Warren Commission defender nor an outlandish conspiracy theorist but a careful historian who presents a strong case that the Warren Commission hastily and wrongly concluded that Oswald murdered Kennedy and that a single "magic bullet" shot both the President and Texas governor John Connally. Wrone calls Gerald Posner's influential 1993 Case Closed "one of the most error-ridden works on the assassination" but also condemns conspiracy enthusiasts like Oliver Stone for offering such shoddy speculations that the government and mainstream media often treat the work of serious assassination researchers as screeds bordering on the paranoid. Future assassination researchers will consult this fascinating history of the indelible Zapruder film. Strongly recommended for academic and most public libraries. While Lubin (art, Wake Forest Univ.) also makes some interesting comments about the Zapruder film, which he calls "a political thriller," his book offers only cursory comments about the assassination itself. Instead, he provides a series of provocative essays about how perceptions of the Kennedys have become part of our national memory. Lubin's spirited and gracefully written essays demonstrate that John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy became such dominant personalities because the public associated them with enduring themes of classical and popular culture. For example, the Kennedys, viewed as classic defenders of the poor, and The Beverly Hillbillies, the most popular TV show of 1963, were both known for poking fun at the rich. In addition, the macho image that Kennedy cultivated was enhanced by his reading Ian Fleming's best-selling James Bond novels. Following the death of the President, the Camelot myth of noble leadership and the protection of all subjects was readily accepted by a grieving nation. As Lubin shows, this myth was already ingrained in American culture, and he skillfully relates how Kennedy used it to stir the populace and create his own iconography. He also explains why these myths, reinforced by both ancient and contemporary images, remain vibrant. Strongly recommended for academic and larger public libraries. "Mr. President, you certainly can't say that Dallas doesn't love you!" These were the famously innocent last words that Nellie Connally, wife of the Texas governor, uttered to Kennedy seconds before he was killed. In a voice that is both forthright and personable, she presents her recollections of the momentous events of November 22, 1963, based on notes written shortly after the assassination but lost and not rediscovered until 1996. Nellie Connally is the last surviving dignitary who rode in that fateful presidential limo, and this memoir shows how the events of this national trauma personally affected her and the three Connally children. The reader shares her anger at seeing Lee Harvey Oswald receiving excellent medical treatment in the same hospital where President Kennedy was pronounced dead and where her husband almost died from an assassin's bullet. The three Connally children tell how they were pulled out of school that day, while rumors swirled that their wounded father was already dead. This unique account tells how Nellie Connally coped with the long recovery of her husband and how the Connally family lost its sense of security as a result of the assassination. This well-illustrated memoir by a witness to history is recommended for public libraries.-Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. ix
1 Twenty-six Secondsp. 1
2 "Gentle Be the Breeze, Calm Be the Waves"p. 39
3 A Marriage like Any Otherp. 67
4 Blue Sky, Red Rosesp. 105
5 Hit the Road, Jackp. 143
6 Kennedy Shotp. 163
7 The Loneliest Job in the Worldp. 193
8 Down in the Basementp. 217
9 Salutep. 251
Notesp. 289
Select Bibliographyp. 313
Picture Creditsp. 319
Indexp. 323