A family memoir about the twenty-six second video shot by Abraham Zapruder that captured the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
On November 22, 1963, Russian-Jewish immigrant Abraham Zapruder left his office hoping for a glimpse of President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade as it passed by Dealey Plaza. Abe thrilled at the chance to see the young president in person—and perhaps to bring back a home movie of this once-in-a-lifetime moment for his family. The first major instance of citizen journalism, the now-iconic footage he captured forced Zapruder to face unprecedented dilemmas: How to handle his unexpected ownership of a vitally important yet unspeakably terrible piece of American history? How to aid the U.S. government and, at the same time, fend off the swarm of reporters grasping to purchase the film? How to make the best decisions to ensure the film was safeguarded—but never exploited?
Alexandra Zapruder is the author of Salvaged Pages: Young Writers’ Diaries of the Holocaust, which won the National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust category. 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. Currently, she is curating an exhibition for Holocaust Museum Houston about the diaries of young people living through international conflicts over the past 75 years and works as an educational consultant for The Defiant Requiem Foundation.
“Alexandra…has written the entwined story of the Zapruder film and the Zapruders themselves with scrupulous care and attention to all the civic and familial sensitivities involved. It turns out to be a fascinating and cautionary tale.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Zapruder is a gifted writer and storyteller who delicately unravels a minor mystery…that she makes human, complex and quite interesting.” —The New York Times
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