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Monday, July 2, 2012

READ THIS: The Kissing Sailor: The Mystery Behind the Photo That Ended World War II By Lawrence Verria and George Galdorisi Foreword by David Hartman Our Coverage Sponsored by Ener-Gel Insoles

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At Whom You Know, we are obsessed with books (count well over 400 reviews...) and clearly, we couldn't be prouder to be American, and are dedicated to finding excellent American products. So, you can just imagine Peachy Deegan's extreme enthusiasm when met with the opportunity to work with the U.S. Naval Institute/Naval Institute Press to review The Kissing Sailor!  Printed in the USA, The Kissing Sailor is a tale that deserves to be told and one that you should read.  Everyone knows the picture, but few know the story behind it, and it's time the truth finally was disclosed.  

From ducks to dentists, you'll learn about the real people and their real life stories that brought them to the point of contact, and we'll warn you, it's not what you think.   The one that snapped the shutter, therefore pulling the trigger on this whole phenomenon was as we all know, Alfred Eisenstaedt, who had been snapping away since his first Kodak at age 14.  That is not the mystery of course.  The celebration of the end of the war (we are sorry to have missed it!) coupled with jubilation at the bar, well-deserved we might add, fueled the background to the story that we refuse to give away-you absolutely must read it.  It is a juicy story complete with love triangle (Rita!  George! Greta!) and happy ending!  We are disgusted with those that lied during the decades of controversy surrounding this and are so glad to see that the accuracy of the moment has been revealed.

You'll also learn that miles out at sea, Times Square's glow outlined ships against the skyline, making American Navy ships easier targets for German submarines, so our government had to order the lights above street level to be turned off in Times Square for most of the war, making a picture like this highlighting Times Square that much more meaningful.

Our esteemed panelists add:
One of the most famous photographs of our time has creates such controversy and interpretation in our time. The Sailor and the Nurse kissing in Time Square has been a symbol of American Joy for nearly 70 years now. I remember everyone having posters of this on their wall in boarding school. For the first time, the identities are being revealed from these iconic photographic. “The Kissing Sailor” by Lawrence Verria and George Galdorisi takes all of the facts and some misinformation and without a doubt solves the mystery. From the photo to the true story of the kiss, history buffs and those who lived the war will love the book. The story continues with what happens after Life Magazine published the photo. With another part on the true case to prove their identities after so many have claimed it was them. So dive in and be a part of history of a photograph that sparked incredible interest in our country!

If someone were to ask me what photograph comes to mind when WWII is mentioned, it automatically is The Kissing Sailor. I've always loved reading books about history and I was not disappointed with this book. It was very well researched and written. I couldn't put it down. It's hard to believe that the sailor and the nurse didn't even know each other. There were times I found myself laughing as well. I don't want to give away too much of this amazing book. There aren't many books that I read more than once and I know this is going to be one of those few. I know this is a book any history buff would love. Even if you don't normally pick up books like this, you should. I highly recommend it. 

Around the 4th of July, it's a wonderful time to reflect on some of the great moments in our country's history. Luckily, this year, I found a wonderful way to do just this - in the form of a fantastic new book entitled "The Kissing Sailor - The Mystery Behind The Photo That Ended World War II." From the moment I saw the cover with that iconic image, I was intrigued. Sure, I'd heard various stories throughout the years, but, to my knowledge, the identities of the parties involved had never been firmly established. Beyond the well-established fact that the picture of a sailor kissing a nurse (which was first published in LIFE magazine) was taken by legendary photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt on August 14th, 1945, as all of New York City was pouring into Times Square to celebrate the Japan's surrender to the United States, little else had been known for sure. Eisenstaedt took no information from the kissing couple, and although many people claimed to have been either the sailor or the nurse, their identities had never been definitively confirmed. Well now, thanks to the dedication, hard work, and research of Lawrence Verria and George Galdorisi, the mystery has been solved! The book is a delightful, charming, and engaging (not to mention informative!) read from start to finish. The authors start at the beginning and give detailed information about the backgrounds of the people involved, as well as how their paths just happened to cross on that fateful day - creating one of the most famous photographs in the world! "The Kissing Sailor" is definitely a must-read for anyone who has ever been intrigued by that historic photo, as well as anyone who loves learning more about the history of this wonderful country of ours. 

Have you ever gazed at a photo and pondered the story behind it? Surely you know the Kissing Sailor photo, the iconic Time image from 1945, but what more do you really know about the nurse and the sailor? In The Kissing Sailor by Lawrence Verria and George Galdorisi the mystery behind this famous photo is explored. The image, highly touted as "the photo that ended World War II" has one fascinating backstory. Verria and Galdorisi weave an exciting web of mystery, romance, and history exploring a story that for the last 67 years has gone untold. It's no surprise that numerous claimants came forward, trying to elude the identities as their own, but you will be amazed to read about the many myths and lies that surrounded one of America's most treasured photos. That is until now, travel back in time to a world ridden with war and the inspiration and excitement felt by this famous image. A great summer read, filled with excitement and intrigue. We know you will love The Kissing Sailor from Naval Institute Press. 

Whom You Know Highly Recommends The Kissing Sailor!

GIVE MY REGARDS TO BROADWAY (George M. Cohan) Judy Garland Also recorded by : Andy Badale & The Beer Garden Band; Ruby Braff; James Cagney; George M. Cohan; The Dixieland Ramblers; Joel Grey; Hal Leonard; Ted Heath; Al Jolson; Ella Logan; Barry Manilow; Mantovani; Billy Murray; New York Pops; 101 Strings Orch.; André Previn; Edmundo Ros; Slappin' Mammys; Somethin' Smith; The Three Suns. Did you ever see two Yankees part upon a foreign shore, When the good ship's just about to start for Old New York once more? With teardimmed eye they say goodbye, they're friends without a doubt; When the man on the pier Shouts "Let them clear", as the ship strikes out. Give my regards to Broadway, Remember me to Herald Square, Tell all the gang at Forty Second street, that I will soon be there; Whisper of how I'm yearning, To mingle with the old time throng, Give my regards to old Broadway and say that I'll be there 'ere long. Give my regards to Broadway, Remember me to Herald Square, Tell all the gang at Forty Second street, that I will soon be there; Whisper of how I'm yearning, To mingle with the old time throng, Give my regards to old Broadway and say that I'll be there 'ere long. Say hello to dear old Coney Isle, If there you chance to be, When you're at the Waldorf have a smile and charge it up to me; Mention my name every place you go, as 'round the town you roam; Wish you'd call on my gal, Now remember, old pal when you get back home. Give my regards to Broadway, Remember me to Herald Square, Tell all the gang at Forty Second street, that I will soon be there; Whisper of how I'm yearning, To mingle with the old time throng, Give my regards to old Broadway and say that I'll be there 'ere long. Give my regards to Broadway, Remember me to Herald Square, Tell all the gang at Forty Second street, that I will soon be there; Whisper of how I'm yearning, To mingle with the old time throng, Give my regards to old Broadway and say that I'll be there 'ere long.

The Kissing Sailor 

The Mystery Behind the Photo That Ended World War II 

By Lawrence Verria and George Galdorisi
Foreword by David Hartman 

On August 14, 1945, the legendary photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt took a picture of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square, moments after receiving the news of Japan’s surrender to the United States. Now for the first time, the whole truth about the couple in the celebrated picture, V-J Day, 1945, Times Square, will be revealed. As James Bradley’s bestseller Flags of Our Fathers dispelled the many long-held misconceptions about another great photo of the war—the raising of the Marine flag on Iwo Jima—The Kissing Sailor documents the true story of the photo that captured the spontaneous kiss celebrating the war’s end. 

After publication in LIFE magazine, the image became one of the most famous photos of WWII. Eventually the photo was unofficially recognized as one of the greatest in American history. As a cherished reminder of what it felt like for the war to finally be over, all who saw the photo were eager to know the story of the nurse and sailor. Alas, Eisenstaedt had no information and as a result the 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 widely identified as the woman in the amorous embrace. In 1980 LIFE attempted to determine the sailor’s identity, prompting many aging warriors to step forward with competing claims. When various experts weighed in to support one candidate over another, chaos ensued. 

Intrigued for decades by the controversy surrounding the identity of the sailor and nurse, authors Lawrence Verria and George Galdorisi have collected the evidence to unravel years of misinformation and controversy. The Kissing Sailor, the result of their extensive research, takes a critical, multi-faceted look at all of the evidence to make a convincing case for the true identities of the couple. Given the hundreds of jubilant couples kissing in Times Square on V-J Day, it is not surprising that many have mistakenly claimed to be the sailor and the nurse. The Kissing Sailor, however, solves the 67-year-old mystery of their identity by providing irrefutable proof that Greta Zimmer Friedman and George Mendonsa are the nurse and the sailor who kissed the war goodbye for a generation of Americans. 

About the Authors 

Lawrence Verria is the Social Studies Department Chair at North Kingstown High School, and Rhode Island's 2000 Teacher of the Year. During his twenty-nine year career as a history teacher, he served as an educational consultant to Frontline (PBS) and as a spokesperson for The Watson Institute for International Studies' Choices for the 21st Century Education Program at Brown University. He is the recipient of the Susan B. Wilson Civic Education Merit Award and Rhode Island College's Evelyn Walsh Prize for excellence in history studies. 

Captain George Galdorisi, USN (Ret.) is a naval aviator who began his writing career in 1978 with an article in Proceedings. His Navy career included four command tours and five years as a carrier strike group chief of staff. He has written seven books previously, including the New York Times bestseller, Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor, the novelization of the Bandito Brothers/Relativity Media film starring U.S. Navy SEALs. He is currently the director of the Corporate Strategy Group at the Navy’s C4ISR Center of Excellence in San Diego, California. 

David Hartman was the original, and for over 11 years, host of Good Morning America. He writes and produces numerous programs about the history of military aviation and space and has earned two national News and Documentary Emmys for writing and the Aviation/Space Writers Association Journalism Award. 

The Kissing Sailor: The Mystery Behind the Photo that Ended World War II 

By Lawrence Verria and George Galdorisi 

Foreword by David Hartman 

Hardcover; Publication date: 15 June 2012 

224 pages; 40 b/w photographs 

Hardcover / ISBN: 978-1-61251-078-1

eBook / ISBN: 978-1-61251-127-6

The World’s Leading Naval and Military Publisher since 1898. Online at

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