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Shooting Kennedy: JFK and the Culture of Images 
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Product Details 
336 pages 
University of California Press 
Published 2003 
From Publishers Weekly 
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. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. About the Author David M. Lubin, Charlotte C. Weber Professor of Art at Wake Forest University, is author of Titanic (1999), Picturing a Nation: Art and Social Change in Nineteenth-Century America (1994), and Act of Portrayal: Eakins, Sargent, James (1985). Book Description 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.
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