Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Book cover: "A Day in the Life of President Kennedy"

  • Title: A Day in the Life of President Kennedy
  • Author: Jim Bishop (1907-1987)
  • Front cover photographer: Cecil Stoughton (1920-2008)
  • Publisher: Bantam Books ("A Bantam Fifty" / F-2867)
  • Cover price: 50 cents
  • Year of publication: 1964 (First edition was Random House in March 1964. This edition is October 1964.)
  • Pages: 148
  • Format: Paperback
  • How acquired: For 97 cents from a thrift store in Lancaster County.
  • Waterstained? Yes.
  • Back-cover blurb: "To my eternal sorrow, I was the last writer to work with President Kennedy on an exclusive story. Therefore I asked to have it published as written, without anything added or changed, when the world was bright for him and the future held the warm promise of goodness and victory. What you will read in this book is a portrait of the Kennedy family as it looked then — with no premonition that, for him, time had run out. — Jim Bishop"
  • Dedication: "Dedicated with Affection to Caroline and John F. Kennedy, Jr. who will some day want to recall what it was like."
  • First sentence: The sun, like almost everyone in Washington, is on time.
  • Last sentence: The last few minutes of the day belong to God.
  • Random section from middle: The Kennedy Administration has been accused of managing news, and if this implies putting a good face on adverse events, and withholding certain news until the most good can be drawn from it, then the Administration is probably guilty.
  • Rating on Goodreads: 3.92 stars (out of 5.0)
  • Notes: John F. Kennedy was assassinated on this day, 54 years ago. This past May marked the 100th anniversary of his birth. ... Author Bishop wrote 21 books, the most famous of which was probably The Day Lincoln Was Shot. He also penned The Day Christ Died, The Day Christ Was Born, FDR's Last Year, and The Day Kennedy Was Shot. This book is most notable because, as the back-cover copy notes, it was researched during the summer of 1963 and finished shortly before JFK's death. The following is an excerpt from Bishop's obituary:
    "He made the best-seller list again by writing one of the top 10 books of 1964. It was A Day in the Life of President Kennedy, which Mr. Bishop completed on Nov. 12, 1963, 10 days before the assassination. The President had approved it without revisions. Jacqueline Kennedy asked for 60 small changes, which Mr. Bishop made."
    ... A three-page postscript to the book includes the author's own list of "parallels" between the Kennedy and Lincoln assassinations. So it's possible that Bishop had a lot to do with the perpetuation of and fascination with the Kennedy/Lincoln Coincidence Hoo-Ha that persists even today. ... Cover photographer Stoughton was JFK's official White House photographer, taking more than 8,000 shots during the nearly three years Kennedy was in office. According to Wikipedia, "Stoughton was present at the motorcade at which Kennedy was assassinated and subsequently took the only photograph on board Air Force One of Lyndon B. Johnson being sworn in." Also, according to Wikipedia, "on Stoughton's suggestion Johnson was flanked by his wife and Jacqueline Kennedy, facing slightly away from the camera so that blood stains on her pink Chanel suit would not be visible."

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