Kennedy Assassinated! the World Mourns: A Reporter's Story

Wilborn Hampton, Author
Wilborn Hampton, Author Candlewick Press (MA) $17.99 (96p) ISBN 978-1-56402-811-2
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
Paperback - 96 pages - 978-0-7636-1564-2
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-7569-6569-3
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-22542-7
Paperback - 82 pages - 978-0-590-55106-9
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Hampton, an editor at the New York Times, was working as a cub reporter for the UPI office in Dallas on November 22, 1963, and gives a unique view of President Kennedy's assassination and the days that followed. His taut narrative is absorbing enough to keep pages turning, but readers will want to pause from time to time to scrutinize the now famous photographs--of the motorcade, Johnson's hurried inauguration, JFK's funeral and Oswald's execution--which are strategically placed throughout the volume. In addition to the larger events surrounding Kennedy's death, Hampton details how journalists uncovered and passed along the facts of the unfolding drama, each racing to scoop the other. He evokes the excitement undercut by the grief which permeated the newsroom and explains how his own involvement with the story ""changed the direction"" of his life and career. While information is presented in an objective, journalistic manner, the newsman's personal responses to the tragedy are charged with emotion: ""President Kennedy was dead. I stopped by a giant live oak tree on that vast front lawn of Parkland Hospital and cried."" Hampton directs his writing toward the younger set, yet parents and grandparents who remember the assassination as a ""benchmark in their lives"" may want first crack at this riveting you-are-there reenactment. Ages 10-15. (Sept.)
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