"But there are no loners. No man lives in a void. His every act is conditioned by his time and his society": First Edition of Machester's Classic Work The Death of a President; inscribed by him to Abraham Zapruder
The Death of a President.
Item Number: 90376
New York: Harper & Row, 1967.
First edition of the historian’s most well-known and enduring work. Octavo, original blue cloth. Association copy, inscribed by William Manchester to Abraham Zapruder in the year of publication on the half-title page, “For Abe Zapruder – With gratitude and warmest regards – Wm Manchester 13 III 67.” The recipient, Abraham Zapruder, unexpectedly witnessed and filmed the assassination of John F. Kennedy while filming the procession of the presidential motorcade in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. Later referred to as the ‘Zapruder film’, the film offered an exceptionally clear view of the assassination and became an important part of the Warren Commission hearings and all subsequent investigations into the assassination. Zapruder is mentioned over a dozen times in the present volume, as is referenced in the index. From the library of Zapruder’s assistant Lillian Rogers, whom he gifted the book to with the original transmittal envelope postmarked at Dallas on November 24, 1970 signed by Zapruder, “Mr. A. Zapruder” in the return address. Accompanied by a letter of provenance from the son of Lillian Rogers, which reads in part: “My mother, deceased, Lillian Rogers worked for Abaraham Zapruder at the time of the JFK assassination…On that day she urged Mr. Zapruder to go back to his home and get his movie camera which he did and the rest is history. She always felt that her legacy was that if she had not persuaded Mr. Zapruder to get his camera the world would probably not know much about the event. I acquired the copy of the book ‘The Death of a President’ signed by the author as part of my mother’s estate…I had seen it once before she died and she told me Mr. Zapruder had given it to her.” Near fine in a near fine dust jacket with a few small closed tears to the extremities. An exceptional association linking two important figures in the preservation of the history of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Items associated with Zapruder rarely appear at market.
Jacqueline Kennedy personally approved only a few authors to write about the death of her husband, of which Manchester was one. Manchester spent hours interviewing Jacqueline and Robert Kennedy in the research phase of this work, and she ultimately held veto power over the final manuscript. Originally published in the spring of 1967 to positive reviews, the book sold more than a million copies by the summer of that same year. It went on to "became a best seller and later was given the Dag Hammarskjold International Literary Prize" (New York Times).