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Remembering Jack
Book Review

With the 40th anniversary of the horrific assassination of John F. Kennedy almost upon us, "Remembering Jack," by Jacques Lowe (Bullfinch/ AOL Time Warner Book Group, $45.00, 432 pages) is a collection as its sub-title announces of "intimate and unseen photographs of the Kennedys."

Jacques Lowe who died in 2002 was JFK's personal photographer, the man whose images many credit with creating the myth of Camelot.  Of Lowe's 40,000 photographs of the Kennedys, only a few hundred have ever been seen.    

"Remembering Jack" showcases  more than 600 pictures, half of which were previously unpublished.

It is a stunning work, a book that gives one pause. For those who lived through that era it brings back the time with a chill. For those who were NOT around then, "Remembering Jack" is like going back in a time machine.

A sad footnote to the book: all of Lowe's original negatives were housed in a bank vault in the World Trade Center and were destroyed on 9/11/01.     

Richard Avedon was one of the greatest and most innovative photographers of the 20th century. Best known for his more than a half a century of preserving for all time in his photos - women of beauty, powerful makers ands shakers, the New York scene - he was one of the most unlikely of personages to be chosen to document images of the American West's ordinary people.

"Avedon at Work in the American West" by Laura Wilson (University of Texas Press, Austin, $39.95, 125 pages of marvelous commentary and even more marvelous photographs) is a book about a way of life that has virtually disappeared, a  book for all lovers of photo art.

In 1979, the Amon Carter Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, commissioned Avedon to chronicle in his words "a new definition of a photographic portrait. I'm looking for people who are surprising--heartbreaking--or beautiful in a terrifying way." We see portraits of oilfield and slaughterhouse workers, miners, waitresses, drifters, mental patients, teenagers, and others. The result is an exceptional book.


"Chocolate French" by A.K. Krump (TCB-CAFÉ Publishing, San Francisco, $19.95, 190 pages (paper) is a mouth watering survey of the special relationship between international French culture and chocolate cuisine. Photos, recipes, stories, insights - all clamor for attention in this tasty nugget of a book.

"Art Museum Exhibitions" edited by Susan Mermelstein (Abrams, $17.95, 490 portable pages) is a terrific book for all travelers. It documents traveling and permanent collections at more than 400 major museums. The user friendly book also contains addresses, phone numbers, Web sites, hours and admissions.   

"Pocket Wine Guide 2004 (Harcourt, $14.00, 320 pages) by Oz Clarke is the perfect portable and indispensable source for all wine lovers. By the same author and publisher, there is also "New Encyclopedia of Wine," ($22.00, 416 pages, paper). This book has just about everything the pro or amateur needs to know at a glance about the world of wine from Abruzzi to Zinfandel.   

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About the Authors:  Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer are a wife and husband team who successfully bridge the worlds of popular culture and traditional scholarship. Co-authors of the critically acclaimed interactive oral histories It Happened in the Catskills, It Happened in Brooklyn, Growing Up Jewish in America, It Happened on Broadway, It Happened in Manhattan, It Happened in Miami. They teach what they practice as professors at Dartmouth College.

They are also travel writers who specialize in luxury properties and fine dining as well as cultural history and Jewish history and heritage in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. More about these authors.

You can contact the Frommers at: 

Email: myrna.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU
Email: harvey.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU

This Article is Copyright © 1995 - 2012 by Harvey and Myrna Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.


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