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Bookshelves bulging for anniversary

November 15, 2003|Renee Tawa | Times Staff Writer

Books on John F. Kennedy -- the cover photos alone of the young, striking president -- turn heads at any time of year. But in preparation for the 40th anniversary of Kennedy's assassination on Nov. 22, booksellers have been making special preparations in anticipation of resurging interest in JFK's life and times.

Among the most prominent of the recent Kennedy books is Robert Dallek's "An Unfinished Life," which was released by Little, Brown in May. Dallek, a Boston University history professor, drew from previously unavailable Kennedy family papers and medical records to chronicle the president's chronic health problems and love affairs.

A slew of other new books have been released to coincide with events marking the day that Kennedy was fatally shot in Dallas. Among them:

October release:

"The Kennedys" (Basic Books), by Thomas Maier: A look at the family's Irish Catholicism, from Patrick Kennedy's 1848 arrival in Boston, written by New York Newsday staff writer.

November releases:

"Four Days in November" (St. Martin's Press), staff of the New York Times, and edited by Robert B. Semple Jr. with an introduction by Tom Wicker: The newspaper's complete coverage of Kennedy's assassination, including stories on Lee Harvey Oswald and Lyndon B. Johnson.

"The Zapruder Film" (University Press of Kansas), by David R. Wrone: The professor emeritus of history at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point analyzes the 486 frames of Abraham Zapruder's infamous film, plus the forensic evidence.

"Shooting Kennedy" (University of California Press), by David M. Lubin: In a look at the iconic images associated with the Kennedys, Lubin, a professor of art at Wake Forest University, discusses America's connection with the powerful family.

"Remembering Jack" (Bulfinch Press), by Jacques Lowe, with foreword by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: More than 600 photos, half never before published, by the late Lowe, who was JFK's personal photographer.

"President Kennedy Has Been Shot" (Sourcebooks), by the Newseum staff, Cathy Trost and Susan Bennett: Accounts from leading journalists who covered the assassination, along with a CD featuring audio excerpts from news broadcasts, Dallas police transmissions and White House communications.

December release:

"Writing JFK" (Texas A&M University Press), by Thomas W. Benson: Text and analysis of Kennedy's speeches and news conferences following the Bay of Pigs crisis in 1961, by a professor of rhetoric at Penn State.

For young readers:

"High Hopes" (National Geographic), by Deborah Heiligman: A photobiography by an award-winning children's writer, released in October.

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