Saturday, July 23, 2011

Kennedy: Through the Lens by Martin W. Sandler

Born into a highly successful family, John Kennedy endured a competitive childhood, constantly being shadowed by his older brother, Joe Jr. He suffered many childhood illnesses, but managed to overcome them and eventually graduated from Harvard University with a degree in government. As a fighter pilot during World War II, he became a war hero after leading his vessel crewmen to safety. He later rose up the ranks in politics before being elected as the President of the United States. This book not only describes his journey to the presidency, but also offers an inside view of one of the most photogenic presidents in history. His charisma and energy as seen on TV and newspapers inspired millions of Americans. Kennedy launched a new generation in American presidency, one where his public image relates to the everyday citizen: playing with his children, golfing, reading, etc. This biography offers a moderately detailed account of Kennedy's rise to the presidency and the major challenges he faced as president while also attempting to capture the essence of his life that made him so appealing to the American people.

"Kennedy Through the Lens" paints a picture of not only John F. Kennedy as our 35th president, but John F. Kennedy as a person. While the book's purpose is not to offer a detailed account of his life, it does do a fairly decent job of capturing all the important details in his life and presidency. But what makes this book unique is its emphasis on the specific traits and qualities that made John Kennedy one of the most popular presidents of all time: his openness to the camera and to the media. He was the first president to fully take advantage of the new technologies taking presence during this time. Through the carefully-selected images and the accompanying text, readers will have no difficulty learning about the professional and personal life of John F. Kennedy. While I did not live during that time period, reading this book helped me understand why many people considered the Kennedy era the "Camelot years". This book possesses a special component that truly made it interesting to read and different than those traditional, boring biographies. It would be even better if it had more quotes from Kennedy himself, particularly his own reflections.

Reviewer Age:17
Reviewer City, State and Country: Palo Alto, CA USA