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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Have You Read? #5

Last night I picked up a book from the library. I have been waiting for it for a few months, and because my husband was driving, I could look at it immediately! Notice I did not write "open it immediately." The book jacket is intriguing. A large photograph of President Obama, gazing out of Marine One dominates. Across the bottom are small squares of George W. Bush (wearing a cowboy hat and driving a pick-up), Lyndon B. Johnson looking at a soldier, Richard Nixon talking on the phone, Ronald Reagan in front of flags, and John F. Kennedy reading a newspaper while off Hyannis Port. The back jacket shows Lyndon Johnson lying in a field of wildflowers, the Clintons with facial expressions of incredulity, and the Obamas wearing 3-D glasses. Would you be as intrigued as I was?

The book, written by John Bredar, is The President's Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office. Pete Souza, Chief Official White House Photographer, wrote the Foreword. I am captivated by the perspectives and views I am reading in this book. Though I know, of course, that the President has a personal life, has interests beyond work, has a need for time with family, has a spouse with whom he likes to spend time, and has intense emotional experiences, I am still fascinated by the images of our presidents doing things like the rest of us. Picture President Obama hugging Sasha in the elevator or Richard Nixon shaking hands with Elvis Presley or Betty Ford dancing across the Cabinet Room table. Looking at the photographs is an incredible experience. Reading about the history of the them and the specifics behind each one extends the impact to an even greater degree.

Though this is not necessarily a children's book, I believe it has appeal and applicability for my elementary school students and colleagues. The visual element of the book is incredible, and its glimpse into the lives of our country's leaders lifts it to being extraordinary.

1 comment:

  1. What a gig that would be, eh? Photographer of presidents. You've got the skills and the eye. Looks as if you've got the equipment (congratulations). Think you might apply for the job?