History's unsung sidekicks in pictures

By Corinne Jones

In their new book, The Who, the What, and the When: 65 Artists Illustrate the Secret Sidekicks of History (Chronicle £15.99), American design trio Jenny Volvovski, Julia Rothman and Matt Lamothe turn the spotlight away from the usual idols of coffee-table tomes to the hidden accomplices of history those who stood in the wings as their friends, proteges or relations basked in the glory they helped them achieve. From Harper Lees benefactors to Muhammad Alis boxing coach, each mentor has been lovingly researched by experts in their field and rendered by a different artist. The results, as the authors say, are humbling. Ultimately, these are stories of humanity: of love, competition, obsession, hardship and true passion.

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