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Bill Eppridge’s book of photographs of Robert F. Kennedy, A Time It Was: Bobby Kennedy in the Sixties, is uplifting on the surface—the dust jacket shows him smiling on the campaign trail amid a sea of upraised arms. But the book’s tone is largely melancholy, even in photos taken well before the assassination Eppridge so powerfully documented. A Life photographer, Eppridge was assigned to cover RFK in 1966 as he campaigned for Democrats around the country, and though the Kennedy name helped draw huge crowds, Eppridge’s photos suggest that it was Bobby’s somber demeanor that made him so charismatic—what folks are cheering is a man who’s giving a fouled-up time all the thought and attention it deserves. Rally attendees look as engaged as mourners watching Kennedy’s funeral train pass by; strikingly, the contemplative look in RFK’s eyes chatting with aides resembles his deep stare moments after Sirhan Sirhan shot him dead. Eppridge discusses and signs copies of his work at 7:30 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 4801 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda. Free. (301) 986-1761. —Mark Athitakis