Twenty-Six Seconds: A Personal History of the Zapruder Film (Hardcover)

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Alexandra Zapruder brings a life to the Zapruder Film that is both revealing and history-shaping. She tells the story of Abe Zapruder, how he came to take the film of Kennedy's motorcade, the decisions he made in the first 48 hours after the assassination, and how filming that event changed his life and molded his family’s lives. While doing so, she also reveals the history of the film itself, reminding us how we were shielded from it, treated to select visions of it, and how those actions shaped our interpretation of what happened, and even our political lives. Thoroughly researched, carefully written, this is a great read.

-Recommended by Ron

— From December 2016 Staff Picks


The moving, untold family story behind Abraham Zapruder's film footage of the Kennedy assassination and its lasting impact on our world.
Abraham Zapruder didn't know when he ran home to grab his video camera on November 22, 1963 that this single spontaneous decision would change his family's life for generations to come. Originally intended as a home movie of President Kennedy's motorcade, Zapruder's film of the JFK assassination is now shown in every American history class, included in Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit questions, and referenced in novels and films. It is the most famous example of citizen journalism, a precursor to the iconic images of our time, such as the Challenger explosion, the Rodney King beating, and the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers. But few know the complicated legacy of the film itself.
Now Abraham's granddaughter, Alexandra Zapruder, is ready to tell the complete story for the first time. With the help of the Zapruder family's exclusive records, memories, and documents, Zapruder tracks the film's torturous journey through history, all while American society undergoes its own transformation, and a new media-driven consumer culture challenges traditional ideas of privacy, ownership, journalism, and knowledge.
Part biography, part family history, and part historical narrative, Zapruder demonstrates how one man's unwitting moment in the spotlight shifted the way politics, culture, and media intersect, bringing about the larger social questions that define our age.

About the Author

Alexandra Zapruder began her career on the founding staff of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. A graduate of Smith College, she later earned her Master's Degree in Education at Harvard University. She is the author of Salvaged Pages: Young Writers' Diaries of the Holocaust, which won the National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust category. She also served as the guest curator for an exhibition of original diaries at Holocaust Museum Houston. She wrote and co-produced I'm Still Here, a documentary film for young audiences based on Salvaged Pages, which was awarded the Jewish Image Award for Best Television Special by the National Foundation for Jewish Culture and was nominated for two Emmy awards. Alexandra has traveled around the country and spoken to thousands of teachers, students, and others about her work.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9781455574810
ISBN-10: 1455574813
Publisher: Twelve
Publication Date: November 15th, 2016
Pages: 480
Language: English