June 14, 1982 12:00 PM

by Gigi and Harry Benson

Benson is a wily, tough, imaginative Scot who was named 1982 Magazine Photographer of the Year by the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the National Press Photographers Association. Here are 223 of his most memorable photographs: the exuberant young Beatles (he accompanied them on their 1964 U.S. debut); a vulnerable Churchill near the end of his life; and countless movie stars, politicians and athletes in often unintentionally revealing poses. This absorbing collection shows how a seemingly spontaneous photograph results from careful preparation: Fred Astaire, at 81, pivoting elegantly to watch his young wife, Robyn Smith, ride by on a bicycle; Truman Capote coyly curled up in a caftan; former Attorney General John Mitchell celebrating his acquittal on charges of obstruction of justice and perjury in connection with the Watergate cover-up. There is a heartbreaking sequence of the fatally wounded Bobby Kennedy in the kitchen of L.A.’s Ambassador Hotel. The Bensons (he is a PEOPLE contributing photographer; she is his writer, assistant and wife) briefly describe the story behind the shots and offer pithy advice, such as this on photographing people: “Be aware of when to push and when to let up. It’s always better for the subject to think afterward that he went too far than for you to realize that you didn’t go as far photographically as you could have gone.” (Harmony, $22.50; paper, $12.95)

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