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Portrait of Camelot: A Thousand Days in the Kennedy White House Hardcover – 1 Nov 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.; 1 edition (1 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810995859
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810995857
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 3.2 x 28.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 533,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Richard Reeves is a presidential historian and author of bestselling books on many of the presidents, including Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, and Kennedy. His President Kennedy: Profile of Power is now considered the authoritative work on the 35th president, has won several national awards and was named the Best Non-Fiction Book of 1993 by Time and Book of the Year by Washington Monthly. In 1998, he won the Carey McWilliams Award of the American Political Science Association for distinguished contributions to the understanding of American politics. He is a syndicated columnist whose column has appeared in more than 100 newspapers since 1979. Cecil Stoughton studied with Alfred Eisenstadt and Margaret Bourke-White in the U.S. Army photographer-training program and then joined the Army's Public Information Office. Harvey Sawler is a Canadian author who interviewed Cecil Stoughton extensively before his death.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brilliant book, lots of pictures too. The DVD included gives rare footage of the Kennedy family in their homes during private times. Makes you feel like part of the family when you watch it. This is a MUST for any Kennedy fan. You won't be disappointed with this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have already bought a lot of books on JFK but this is one of the best, many pictures in black and white and in colour, many I have never seen, The DVD played on my region 2 player and here too many unseen films, a must for Kennedy's fans.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lovely photographs, a real insight into their world. Highly recommended for the price. A must for John and Jackie Kennedy fans.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
really beautiful book , pages were bright , colour great , great read lovely book to pass down to my children
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa26dedd4) out of 5 stars 36 reviews
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93d37834) out of 5 stars Camelot comes to life... 23 Nov. 2010
By Amy Y. - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a gorgeous book. I stopped by a local bookstore today, just browsing, and came across this beautiful collection of photographs and stories. The price here on Amazon is considerably cheaper than what I paid but I purchased the book intending to send it to my Mother and wanted to have a chance to peruse it myself before passing it along. Now I am wishing I just ordered two copies- I still may.

This book has considerable heft but the overall size isn't impractical like so many 'coffee-table books'. As a photographer, I could have spent hours studying the photographs- many formal or set up but maybe even more candid. Some may find the candid shots the most telling, the most moving. Somehow, though, for me- the mix of staged photos was particularly poignant. I suppose that is because between the two, one gets a sense of the enormous burden of hope and expectation Kennedy shouldered upon stepping up to lead the nation. From family photos documenting days spent at Hyannis Port to press photos as Kennedy signed legislation in the Oval Office, this books provides a multifaceted look at JFK's presidency.

Ever the enticing enigma, Jackie, like a living Mona Lisa, smiles up from the pages as she cares for her children, the dutiful young wife and mother at her husband's side. Some of the stories and candid pictures reveal a glimpse of the woman beneath the careful and classy exterior. Even in her most casual moments, she seems swathed in glamor- she certainly was a lady above all else. Loved the anecdote about her address at the Orange Bowl- said to have been delivered perfectly in Spanish.

Really a wonderful collection. I'm not big on coffee table books- especially considering I don't have a coffee table but this is a book that someone might pour over for a good hour or two. I certainly couldn't pass up the opportunity to browse through it before sending it off- and once I started, I was sucked in. I think this would make a lovely gift for a Kennedy-phile (I'm not and I really enjoyed it) and certainly would be an interesting conversation starter as a 'coffee table book'.

A DVD of family movies is included. As an Equestrienne, I loved the footage of Jackie jumping her horses and leading her kids around on horseback. There are some very sweet moments captured- nice to glimpse into a First Family that truly was first a family. There were definitely good times and not just for show. Cecil Stoughton and Richard Reeves give us a lovely commemoration of the Kennedy Whitehouse, even if thoroughly steeped in the rosy glow of nostalgia.
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93d378ac) out of 5 stars World Renowned Photographer & Top Historian Join Together, to Create Living History of Camelot - 5 STARS !!!! 13 Dec. 2010
By Richard of Connecticut - Published on
Format: Hardcover
What you have here is Cecil Stoughton (died in 2008) who was TRUSTED by John and Jacqueline Kennedy to create a photographic history of their 1000 days in the White House. Imagine it, here's the ultimate couple, a photographer's dream, even more attractive than Hollywood's top casting agents could dream up, and photographs from the first ever White House photographer. The results are spectacular.

You have of course the pictures in the White House, many of which have never been seen before. There's one of John -John alone in the Rose Garden which is quite unique. There are also pictures in Hyannis Port with the family relaxing. It's literally all here and it's magical.

Prominent historian Richard Reeves has written the narrative to this book. In addition to JFK, he has written acclaimed biographies of Presidents Reagan, and Nixon. It is very fitting and appropriate that Stoughton's work is being strengthened by Reeves's written contributions.

There are a few things you need to know before you order the book:

1) All the pictures were done using 1960's chemical based photography, or another words pre-digital, but they are still spectacular.

2) Keep in mind that John Kennedy's father, Joseph Kennedy at one time owned the RKO Motion Picture Studios. This means the father always had access to the finest cameras, photographers, and techniques available. Joe Kennedy was always thinking ahead, and historian Richard Reeves has made the point that the father knew exactly what he was doing when he had the home movies made in terms of their political implications decades later.

3) There are many pictures in the book that Jackie would have never allowed due to privacy. The President on the other hand knew the political value of having fabulous pictures of the children for the voting public to view. Whenever Jackie was gone for a day or longer, or even an afternoon, the President would call Cecil Stoughton and have him come in and take some pictures of the children. The President was always ahead of the game.


If you are interested in this period in our nation's history or you are a Kennedy fan, you will want to add this photographic history to your collection. Regardless of your politics, everyone that lived through this period has been affected for the rest of our lives by the 1960's. As a memory of a spectacular life lived, or the last photographs of his death, this is probably the finest picture history of Camelot that we are going to see for a long time. Thank you for reading this review.

Richard C. Stoyeck
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93d37d50) out of 5 stars three-dimensional feel for the Kennedy White House 1 Nov. 2010
By anonymous - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I looked through a copy of this book today and was struck by the dimensions this book has. There are photos that feel very imperfect, as if casual family photos or "outtakes". Others feel more formal, more what I am used to seeing in Kennedy-related photo reprints. I am certain I haven't seen most of the photos in this book before, though I am not an expert by any means (just a casual reader who is happy to leaf through any Kennedy-related titles).
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93d37c54) out of 5 stars Captures the Magic 30 Nov. 2010
By K. S. Pettry - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a collection of hundreds of family photographs of the Kennedy first family (mostly JFK, Jackie, Caroline and John) taken at the White House and family homes over the course of Kennedy's presidency. The photos in this book really are riveting. They have some kind of quality to them. It was as if John Kennedy knew somehow that he was living a life that would turn into mythology and he played it for all he could. In some, the Kennedy family could be any family. In others, their regalness and star quality was obvious. In this day and age of the deafening, mind-numbingly crushing blare of constant media and information assault, these photos seem quiet; like a breezy summer afternoon punctuated only by the sound of a distance lawnmower. It's also funny seeing photos and home movies of a very pregnant first lady smoking and the first children riding standing up in the front seat of a convertible. How did we manage before the government ran our lives? Kennedy fan or not, this book is more than a collection of staged photos. It's an invitation for even the most cynical of us, to come and believe in Camelot.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93d37948) out of 5 stars Evocative portrait of the Kennedy Years 7 Jan. 2011
By John Murphy - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I first saw this battered and well perused copy of "Portrait of Camelot" book at my local Borders store shortly before Christmas 2010. I was memorized and bedazzled by the evocative photographs of the Kennedy years, many of which I have never seen before. There is an accompanying DVD of Kennedy family scenes which I have not seen yet. I must have spent a good twenty minutes looking through the book and a wave of melancholy and sadness swept over me. I was only three when President Kennedy was assassinated and have no memory of his Presidency. I sighed after glimpsing in this book of an America more confident and sure of itself than it presently is. A woman at the otherside of the table noticed my reaction and said "Sad isn't it? I had the same reaction and feelings myself after looking at it." I was pleasantly surprised on Christmas morning that I received "Portrait of Camelot" as a gift and it now sits on my coffee table.
For those who are Kennedy admirers or those interested in his Presidency, this book is highly recommended.
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