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The Kissing Sailor: The Mystery Behind the…

The Kissing Sailor: The Mystery Behind the Photo That Ended World War II (edition 2012)

by Lawrence Verria, George Galdorisi, Foreword by David Hartman

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Title:The Kissing Sailor: The Mystery Behind the Photo That Ended World War II
Authors:Lawrence Verria
Other authors:George Galdorisi, Foreword by David Hartman
Info:Naval Institute Press (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:American History, World War II, Photojournalism, Life magazine

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The Kissing Sailor: The Mystery Behind the Photo That Ended World War II by Lawrence Verria



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Who would have thought that a simple, iconic photo, taken over 70 years ago would stir up such controversy? On VJ day a sailor home on leave and a dental assistant met by chance in Times Square and were captured on film by Life photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt. Decades later we are still arguing about the names of the two in the photo who were kissing. Verria and Galdorisi attempt to lay to rest the identities of the sailor and the 'nurse' for all time because Life magazine was not interested in verifying the stories of several people who came forward. The evidence is all there for you to judge. I believe them. ( )
  book58lover | Jun 4, 2013 |
In The Kissing Sailor, the authors tell the story of the iconic photo from the World War II era: a sailor kissing a woman in a white uniform on August 14, 1945 – VJ day – in Times Square. Decades later, a woman came forth declaring she was the nurse in the photo and for decades after that, she was thought to be the woman in the photo. When Life magazine asked for the sailor to come forth, many did. At various times, different of the sailor “candidates” was thought to be the man. But the magazine left it to others to figure it out. It was a real circus.

All the hoopla surrounding who the two kissers in the photo REALLY were could have been avoided had Alfred Eisenstaedt, the man who took the photo, followed the most basic procedures required of photojournalists. Getting the “who, what, when, where, why and how” (the five Ws and one H) was part of the job that was drilled into my head as a beginning photojournalism student.

The authors weigh in on the side of the two people they believe were the man and woman in the photo and the evidence they present makes a compelling case for George Mendonsa and Greta Friedman, who are presented as the true photo subjects from the beginning of the book. Although The Kissing Sailor might have been more tightly edited, it presents an interesting tale and a quick read. ( )
  NewsieQ | Dec 20, 2012 |
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"On August 14, 1945, Alfred Eisenstaedt took a picture of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square, minutes after they heard of Japan's surrender to the United States. Two weeks later LIFE magazine published that image. It became one of the most famous WWII photographs in history (and the most celebrated photograph ever published in the world's dominant photo-journal), a cherished reminder of what it felt like for the war to finally be over. Everyone who saw the picture wanted to know more about the nurse and sailor, but Eisenstaedt had no information and a search for the mysterious couple's identity took on a dimension of its own. In 1979 Eisenstaedt thought he had found the long lost nurse. And as far as almost everyone could determine, he had. For the next thirty years Edith Shain was known as the woman in the photo of V-J Day, 1945, Times Square. In 1980 LIFE attempted to determine the sailor's identity . Many aging warriors stepped forward with claims, and experts weighed in to support one candidate over another. Chaos ensued. For almost two decades Lawrence Verria and George Galdorisi were intrigued by the controversy surrounding the identity of the two principals in Eisenstaedt's most famous photograph and collected evidence that began to shed light on this mystery. Unraveling years of misinformation and controversy, their findings propelled one claimant's case far ahead of the others and, at the same time, dethroned the supposed kissed nurse when another candidate's claim proved more credible. With this book, the authors solve the 67-year-old mystery by providing irrefutable proof to identify the couple in Eisenstaedt's photo. It is the first time the whole truth behind the celebrated picture has been revealed. The authors also bring to light the couple's and the photographer's brushes with death that nearly prevented their famous spontaneous Times Square meeting in the first place. The sailor, part of Bull Halsey's famous task force, survived the deadly typhoon that took the lives of hundreds of other sailors. The nurse, an Austrian Jew who lost her mother and father in the Holocaust, barely managed to escape to the United States. Eisenstaedt, a World War I German soldier, was nearly killed at Flanders."--Publisher's web site.… (more)

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