Monday, January 27, 2014

New And Noteworthy--- At Gettysburg, Standing In the Footsteps of Veterans And Visitors With Two Photographs In Your Hand

Standing In The Footsteps: Images of Gettysburg Then and Now, Susan and David Bonser, CreateSpace Publishing, 55 pp, 21 images, 1 map, $7.95.

Standing in the Footsteps is a collection of 'then and now' photos using images from the archives of the Gettysburg National Military Park photographed today in the same Gettysburg locations in which they were originally taken. There have been nearly countless times when I been walking Gettysburg Battlefield, books with photographs in hand and trying to find the spot shown in the picture that was taken 150 years ago.

Using twenty-one photographs, taken between1866 and 1978, Susan and David Bonser have uniquely captured what visitors to the Gettysburg National Military Park likely imagine. Soldiers and veterans of the battle are still in the park. "On great fields something stays," Joshua Chamberlain said. The Bonsers have found, to a degree, what has stayed.

Instead of old images on the left page and new images on the right page. The Bonsers have inlaid the old black and white photograph inside the contemporary photograph. Yes, the Bonsers' fingers are in the modern photograph and holding the black and white photograph. The presence of the thumb and fingers add the presence in the picture of the reader who may be far away from the battlefield park.

The famous photographs of the dead men or horses are used. The earliest photograph is from 1866 with a soldier at Devil's Den; the latest photograph contains President Jimmy Carter, his wife Rosalyn and Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin in the Soldiers' national Cemetery. Monument erections and dedications, Sickles at the Trostle Barn, Chamberlain and soldiers at the 20th Maine monument, veterans shaking hands at The Angle, and many more are featured. Standing In The Footsteps: Images of Gettysburg Then and Now delights visitors to Gettysburg while they are at home.

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