Kyle Anderson
May 27, 2011 AT 04:00 AM EDT

This lovingly curated new volume Linda McCartney: Life in Photographs, featuring forewords by both Paul McCartney and Annie Leibovitz, offers a portrait of Beatledom from a singularly intimate point of view: that of Paul’s wife of nearly three decades, the late Linda McCartney. While the couple’s famous friends — Mick Jagger, Steve McQueen, Willem de Kooning — are well represented, the fly-on-the-wall shots of the McCartneys’ idyllic intercontinental life (including the above snap of Paul enjoying a swim in Jamaica) are just as enthralling. But the real highlights are the images of Paul with John Lennon, capturing the electric chemistry and childlike joy that informed the Beatles’ greatest work.

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