Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Lincoln Through the Lens: How Photography Revealed and Shared an Extraordinary Life
by Martin W. Sandler
Fall 2008 • Walker & Company • Non-fiction (middle-grade/YA)
A stunning photo-essay that celebrates the remarkable life of an American original.
Story: More than one hundred images of Lincoln’s life and times provide a complete portrait of our most revered president, and the events that defined him. From the only confirmed existing picture of Lincoln before the historic Gettysburg Address to his second inauguration—where he is unknowingly surrounded by John Wilkes Booth and his co-conspirators—to the execution of his murderers, this eye-opening, inspiring visual journey provides a fresh take on one of the most documented and beloved figures in American history.
Story behind the story: Martin Sandler is the author of more than sixty books, two of which have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Among his other books are The Story of American Photography, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book; he's also a respected television writer/producer with five Emmy Awards to his credit and has taught American history and American Studies at the University of MA and Smith College. He says, "When photography first burst upon the scene in 1839, it was regarded as a miracle. Never before had it been possible to record things exactly as they were. Most important, human likenesses could be recorded." And adds, "By the time Abraham Lincoln reached the White House, he had learned to use photographers and their cameras to his own advantage....At the beginning of his political career he had often deliberately mussed his hair before allowing his photographic portrait to be taken, so that the folks from the frontier who saw the picture would understand he was one of them." That bit of info, coupled with a look at some of the book's photographs, can stir up some interesting class conversations, no?
★ "Although it’s the pictures that provide the “wow factor,” Sandler’s perceptive words have their own elegance. Well sourced and offering numerous ways to learn more, this will be an excellent tool for history classes; and browsers, too, will be caught up in Lincoln’s story.”—Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
Lincoln Through the Lens includes information about places to visit with special exhibits and programs of special interest to young readers, suggested further reading and surfing, and source materials. See the online reading group guide offering tips on holding a mock election, staging a debate, creating presidential posters story webs and much more.
FYI: all the review copies for this title have been sent and reviews are in the works; please check back and click on the "comments" link below to read what your colleagues have to say.