Reviews of Capturing Camelot

“Kitty Kelley’s lovely new book–yes, lovely–about John F. Kennedy…[is] a story with many layers: Her friendship with [Stanley] Tretick; his with the Kennedys; the Kennedys among themselves. Tretick’s photographs and notes provide a wider angle through which to glimpse the president and first lady, about whom we already know so much.  Part of what one discovers, or rediscovers, about Kennedy upon reading Tretick’s notes is that the man irrevocably associated with womanizing…was in most other ways a class act–humble, authentic, dignified and uninterested in being an object of adulation. [O]ne is grateful that there was once a Camelot, if only in America’s idea of itself, so beautifully captured by a remarkable photographer and given permanence by Kelley. ”

Kathleen Parker
Washington Post
December 23, 2012

“The text is magnificent.  I had great joy reading this.”

Bill Press
The Bill Press Show
December 12, 2012

“There are…some pictures that will move many readers, especially those photographs of a widowed Jacqueline Kennedy after the assassination of her husband….  Despite the omnipresence of family in these photos, some of the most revealing ones display Kennedy alone….  Kitty Kelley’s text dreamily recalls her sister-brother relationship with Stanley Tretick.  Her lilting encomium portrays him as a talented and hard-working image-maker, a fact that is documented by the contents of his own contact sheets….  I must frankly attest that I dived eagerly into Kelley’s tribute to the perfectly groomed politician whom Tretick termed ‘A Very Special President.'”

Greg Tobin
New York Times Book Review
December 2, 2012

“A salute to Kitty Kelley who quietly shines the spotlight on her friend’s treasure trove, giving us a richer, more nuanced view of Camelot.”

Judith Beermann
The Georgetown Dish
November 29, 2012

“The book has Kelley’s energetic writing.  It brings to life not only Camelot but also the man who captured it with his lens….  It is a paean to the gifts of Tretick, his work fully and richly on display. More than that, it is, of course, about ‘capturing Camelot,’ the times of our lives, the days of glory for wire services, daily newspapers and weekly picture magazines….  In the end, Capturing Camelot is a gift book, a history book, a picture book with marvelous stories. Mostly, it’s a gift to all of us.”

Gary Tischler
The Georgetowner
November 14, 2012

“We overuse this word ‘iconic’–I don’t think so in this case….  It’s just a treasure trove.”

Chris Jansing
Jansing & Co.
November 14, 2012

“It’s beautiful, fabulous–I wish I could tell you how great it feels.”

Soledad O’Brien
Starting Point
November 14, 2012

Capturing Camelot…is an elegant, fly-on-the wall look at Kennedy the president and Kennedy the family man.”

David Martindale
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
November 14, 2012

“Some beautiful pictures, a stunning book.”

Piers Morgan
Piers Morgan Tonight
November 13, 2012

“Also featured are photos [taken] just weeks before President Kennedy was assassinated.  The first lady later told Tretick that the series of informal photos, which Tretick presented to her…in a book collection, was a ‘gift from God.'”

Craig Wilson
USA Today
November 13, 2012

“A new book of fascinating photos gives an intimate portrayal of the young Kennedy family’s day-to-day life in the White House.”

Daily Mail
November 13, 2012

“[A]n engaging new picture book.”

Paul Bedard
Washington Examiner
November 12, 2012

“Tretick’s achievement is the masterful construction of legend through careful framing and omission—and teamwork with his subjects. Indeed JFK choreographed much of this work himself….  As a result, when JFK’s more candid expressions of worry and joy poke through in Tretick’s photos, they prove startling still….  The opposite of Goldin and Avedon’s warts-and-all images, Tretick’s work is a noteworthy example of unapologetically romantic American portraiture. ”

Publishers Weekly
August 20, 2012

“Though Kelley’s books are often unauthorized biographies heavily resisted by their subjects, this is a labor-of-love collection of work by the photographer she praises as ‘my best friend…a pal without parallel.’  …Though Kennedy remains known as the first ‘TV’ president, the intimacy and range of these shots (on horseback, wearing a hard hat or an Indian headdress) reminds readers that in the era before the 24/7 cable-news cycle, a still photographer largely captured the public image of the Camelot presidency….  [This book is] a tribute to a photographer, a president and a time when the former functioned as the world’s eyes into the latter. A pleasant mixture of iconic and surprising shots–a photo book that is ultimately as much about the photographer, and the access he gained, as it is about its subject.”

Kirkus Reviews
August 29, 2012