Twenty-six Seconds

Twenty-six Seconds

A Personal History of the Zapruder Film

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
The family story behind Abraham Zapruder's film footage of the Kennedy assassination and its lasting impact, told by Zapruder's granddaughter, draws on personal records and previously sealed archive sources to trace the film's role in the media, courts, government, and arts community.
Publisher: New York : Twelve, 2016
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781455574810
Characteristics: viii, 472 p. : chiefly colored ill. ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

The moving, untold family story behind Abraham Zapruder's film footage of the Kennedy assassination and its lasting impact on our world.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 12, 2018

my interest has no need to be rekindled. this book won't help much in finding who really killed Kennedy, and why, and how. it is more a family diary of the times. make no mistake: apruder made a lot of dough from selling it back to the government. Meantime, however, many copies were made, and some of them had art work applied to them. What would be the motive for that? If you believe in the lone-gunman theory, ask yourself that.

LPL_DanC Nov 02, 2017

If the release of JFK assassination documents in the fall of 2017 has rekindled your interest in the subject, this book is a great pickup. Written by the grandaughter of Abraham Zapruder, who shot the 26 seconds of film capturing the events on Dealey Plaza that fateful day, this book attempts to set the record straight on just about everything you can possibly imagine about "the Zapruder film". It is also the story of how one family handled a very unusual legacy. What would it feel like to discover your grandfather's name in the index of a book about the assassination as a child, or see him portrayed in an Oliver Stone movie? Or to have the National Archives use the power of imminent domain to sieze ownership of an artifact your family had fought for decades to protect and steward thoughtfully through a changing landscape of media, privacy, conspiracy, and technology? This is an amazing read about one of the signature events and artifacts of our time.

May 17, 2017

I enjoyed reading Twenty - Six Seconds. Alexandra tells the story of the film, how it was extraordinary for the day, what a good man her grandfather was, and of the tales of the family that were the custodian of the film of the crime of the century.

The family stood with the values of Abraham Zapruder. Like it or not it was his film and his copyright.

This book has nothing to do with the question of who was the perpetrator. It just deals with the film and those affected by the film. So those who believe or not in the conspiracy theories and want more information about that will be disappointed.

It's a good story for amateur photographers just in case they might one day film an historical event.

PimaLib_NormS Feb 13, 2017

“Twenty-Six Seconds: A Personal History of the Zapruder Film” by Alexandra Zapruder can be a challenging read, because the film records the assassination of President John Kennedy. Reliving that moment in time can be difficult. But because of the historical significance of the Zapruder film, one is almost compelled to read it through to the end. The film has taken a long, strange journey. Abraham Zapruder, the author’s grandfather, was the man behind the movie camera on that sunny Dallas day. In the hours after the shooting, he wanted to get the film into the hands of the federal authorities. Surprisingly, neither the Secret Service nor the FBI took control of the film. Copies were made, but the actual film remained in his possession. Over the years, the six foot piece of celluloid became more than just a visual record of those twenty-six seconds. No one seemed to think of it at first, but, over time, it came to be regarded as an important historical artifact that should be owned by the federal government. However, the film was private property that certainly had monetary value. If the government seizes private property, lawfully the owners must receive fair compensation. But, is it morally right to profit from such a horrifying event? The Zapruder family struggled with this question, and other film related issues for decades. It fell to Alexandra Zapruder, more than 50 years after the event, to document those struggles. At times, she had to straddle a blurry line; was she writing as a Zapruder or a journalist? Both? Neither? Read this compelling book and find out.

Feb 01, 2017

as much as I hate to, I must agree with my old friend "StarGladiator" that she does blindly agree with the Warren Report, which I think most people generally thought was a rush to judgement hack job.

Poor Zapruder family, just a nice guy caught up in history.

Dec 29, 2016

Best part of this too-long book is the insight into what a good man Abe Zapruder was. His sensitivity and care in the guardianship of this tragic recording of history is remarkable. Everyone else tried to profit off it, but not him.

Sep 20, 2016

[I did glean once interesting factoid from this book, when Ms. Z. mentions receiving a clip from James Moore, director of the audio-visual division at the National Archives - - circa late 1970s - - which would be when J. Walton Moore, who would later call himself James Moore, who was the CIA/Dallas agent in 1963 and knew both William Harvey, CIA/Italy chief of station, and J. Gordon Shanklin, Dallas FBI Special-Agent-in-Charge, from their days together at the FBI - - was retired from the CIA? Could J. Walton Moore and James Moore be one and the same? And shortly thereafter a series of explosions and fire would destroy millions of feet of archived film at the National Archives?]
Horrible book! Not worth the paper it was printed on, a complete waste of time, nothing learned, except the simpleton author robotically accepts everything from the Warren Report as gospel truth?!?!
Says Oswald shot Office Tippit three times - - if that was the case, where's the ballistic testing to prove it? [Never performed, and that is job one in any investigation by the police and/or FBI?!?!?!]
Says Itek Corporation tested the film - - but fails to mention that Itek was a Rockefeller company and that their major revenue streams came from government contracts [specifically, from the CIA].
One could go on for many pages, definitely cannot rate this sorry pile of wasted paper!
[Interesting to note that Zapruder belong to the Dallas Council on World Affairs, as did George De Mohrenschildt {Oswald's handler}, and J. Walton Moore, CIA's man in Dallas, head of their Domestic Contacts Division - - plenty of declassified files on Moore over at the Mary Ferrell Foundation,, et cetera. Further interesting to note that J. Walton Moore was previously in the FBI {1940 -- 1945} as was Italy CIA station chief, William Harvey {1940 -- 1947}, they both worked out of the same office, and it was the CIA station in Italy, whose cables to the fascist French organization, OAS, were intercepted by Pfc. Dinkin, detailing the approximate dates for the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas. Next interesting item is that Moore and Harvey were with the FBI at the same time the Dallas FBI SAC, J. Gordon Shanklin, began with them -- they all knew each other!]


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at CALS

To Top