The Berlin Airlift. The Cuban Missile Crisis. The Nixon resignation. There aren’t many people privileged to live at the front row of history, but photojournalist Henry Burroughs was one of the lucky few.
A “shooter” for the Associated Press for thirty-three years, Burroughs was assigned to the Washington bureau, and his photos appeared frequently in newspapers around the world, as well as on the covers of Life and other magazines. Close-ups of History is both an eyewitness account of history and a stirring professional memoir—a book that brings special moments into the viewfinder as Burroughs turns his trained photographer’s eye to reflect his highly cultivated sense of news.
These dramatic photographs testify to an incredible career launched at the end of World War II, and Burroughs’s work in postwar Germany is especially poignant. He documented the remains of Hitler’s office, ruined cities and displaced persons, and the Nuremberg trials. He also captured the beginning of the Cold War as the Soviets tried to take over Berlin and the German people struggled to hold the city for the West.
Close-ups of History is a collection of more than one hundred photos that will amaze all who follow world events. Here is Burroughs’s surreptitious shot—reproduced around the world—of Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain receiving his death sentence and an intimate photo of Jackie Kennedy congratulating her husband after his inaugural address. Depicting presidents and astronauts, the famous and the infamous, all of these images attest to a thoroughgoing professionalism that won Burroughs access to individuals and stories and found him equally at home on the streets and in the Oval Office.
These photographs demonstrate an ingenious craftsman’s dogged resilience in seeking out opportunities not simply to record his subjects but also to make memorable images for a worldwide audience. The accompanying text also lends insight into how Burroughs went about photographing his subjects and how “exclusive” pictures are produced by the photographer’s uncanny sense of timing.
Burroughs’s career placed him not only at the front lines of news stories but also in the front ranks of his profession. Close-ups of History documents that career and offers readers a rich visual feast that brings world events into sharp focus