Portrait of Camelot: A Thousand Days in the Kennedy White House

29/10/2010 § 1 Comment

Released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s election as President of the United States, Portrait of Camelot: A Thousand Days in the Kennedy White House is an amazing collection of photographs (many of them previously unreleased or rarely seen) taken by Kennedy’s official White House photographer, Cecil Stoughton, and is accompanied by prose penned by bestselling political historian Richard Reeves.  The position of official White House photographer was actually created by Kennedy and Stoughton was the first to hold it.  John, Jackie and Stoughton collaborated closely to create the image of Camelot that captivated and enthralled Americans, yesterday and today.

Images via: Vanity Fair

The book is accompanied by a DVD of film footage also shot by Stoughton of the Kennedy family in the White House, in Hyannis and on holidays – a special treat for those of us who love the “Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy,” produced by CBS in 1962.

JFK makes an appearance in the last segment.

You can hear author Richard Reeves read an excerpt of the book on the Vanity Fair site here.  So interesting to hear how Jack came to symbolize the evolution from an old man’s world to a young man’s world, perhaps best signified in the arena of men’s fashion:

…when JFK was elected president American men kept their hair short and wore hats and 3 button tube suits with skinny ties.  Their new leader had long hair (for the time), hated hats, wore custom made european suits with rolled lapels.  Esquire magazine picked up on that in early 1963: “Kennedy sets the style, taste and temper of Washington more surely that Franklin Roosevelt did in 12 years, Dwight Eisenhower in 8, Harry Truman in 7.  Cigar sales have soared — Jack smokes them.  Hat sales have fallen — Jack does not wear them.  Dark suits, well-shined suits.  Avoid button down shirts — Jack says they’re out of style.  Secure your striped ties with PT boat clasps…”

Definitely looking forward to making this addition to the library.

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