The Kennedy Years, from the pages of The New York Times by Richard Reeves, general editor, foreword by Jill Abramson, Abrams '13, in oversized format on glossy stock, $40, 376 pages, ASIN #1419708554. Dozens of b&w and color images sprinkled through text.
Given the momentous occasion -- the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination -- it's likely that many of our readers have given or received one or more of the commemorative volumes published about the Kennedy years.
If you're not among them, here's your chance. Noted author Richard Reeves has acted as general editor for a volume of news and opinion about the Kennedy days and the highlights of JFK's administration. Stories by such notable Times journalists as Tom Wicker, David Halberstam, Seymour Topping, and Max Frankel chronicle such historic events as the Bay of Pigs invasion, Nikita Khrushchev's bullying of the young president in Vienna, America's fledgling space program, and his negotiation in bringing about the first nuclear test ban treaty.
Pulitzer Prize finalist Richard Reeves, has written several books, including President Kennedy: Profile of Power, which was named the Best Nonfiction Book of 1993 by Time. He was also a chief correspondent for Frontline on PBS.
Freedom National -- The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865 by James Oakes, Norton '14 paperback. $18.95, 595 pages, ASIN #0393347753. Index, notes, credits, no bibliography, b&w images sprinkled through text.
From the back cover:
"This groundbreaking history upends the consensus view that the main purpose of the North in fighting the Civil War was to restore the union, with emancipation adopted only when it became necessary to Union victory.
"Freedom National shows instead that these goals were intertwined from secession to abolition. The result is a fresh view of the Civil War and the definitive history of emancipation."
Howell Raines of The Washington Post, in his review, asks: "Was Lincoln really a 'Reluctant emancipator? Freedom National....answers that question eloquently and...fully....Oakes argues that Lincoln, from the moment of his inauguration, began using every political and military means at his disposal to wipe out slavery forever."
Author James Oakes teaches history at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He wrote one previous book, on Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
William Wyler -- The Life and Films of Hollywood's Most Celebrated Director by Gabriel Miller, UKentucky Press '13, $39.95, 512 pages, ASIN #0813142091. Index, selected bibliography, notes, filmography, grouping of b&w glossy images.
In spite of widespread critical acclaim and popularity, the work of film director William Wyler "has never been extensively studied," writes author Gabriel Miller, who sets out in his new book to correct that. The reader should come away from this book with an appreciation of the breadth of Wyler's work, with successful and seminal films in nearly every genre, including social drama, melodrama, and comedy.
From the dust cover:
"During his 45-year career, William Wyler (1902-1981) pushed the boundaries of filmmaking with his gripping storylines and innovative depth-of-field cinematography. With a body of work that includes such memorable classics as Jezebel (1938), Mrs. Miniver (1942), Ben-Hur (1959), and Funny Girl (1968), Wyler is the most nominated director in the history of the Academy Awards and bears the distinction of having won an Oscar for Best Director on three occasions. Both Bette Davis and Lillian Hellman considered him America's finest director, and Sir Laurence Olivier said he learned more about film acting from Wyler than anyone else."
Author Gabriel Miller, professor of English at Rutgers University, is the author or editor of numerous books and lives in New Jersey.