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Starred Review. In this remarkable account of the April 20, 1999, Columbine High School shooting, journalist Cullen not only dispels several of the prevailing myths about the event but tackles the hardest question of all: why did it happen? Drawing on extensive interviews, police reports and his own reporting, Cullen meticulously pieces together what happened when 18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold killed 13 people before turning their guns on themselves. The media spin was that specific students, namely jocks, were targeted and that Dylan and Eric were members of the Trench Coat Mafia. According to Cullen, they lived apparently normal lives, but under the surface lay an angry, erratic depressive (Klebold) and a sadistic psychopath (Harris), together forming a combustible pair. They planned the massacre for a year, outlining their intentions for massive carnage in extensive journals and video diaries. Cullen expertly balances the psychological analysis—enhanced by several of the nation's leading experts on psychopathology—with an examination of the shooting's effects on survivors, victims' families and the Columbine community. Readers will come away from Cullen's unflinching account with a deeper understanding of what drove these boys to kill, even if the answers aren't easy to stomach. (Apr. 6)
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Many reviewers were more concerned with coming to grips with the attack rather than assessing the book, but their concern may be a testament to Cullen’s work. His reporting fundamentally reframes the event: Columbine, he writes, should be thought of as a failed bombing rather than a school shooting. Furthermore, much of the conventional wisdom about how to prevent such attacks—essentially, watch out for pimply outcasts with a grudge—is confounded by an investigation into Harris’s and Klebold’s actual lives. Most critics, with Janet Maslin a notable exception, thought that Cullen’s account helps us to better wring meaning from the tragedy. In sum, Columbine “is an excellent work of media criticism, showing how legends become truths through continual citation” (New York Times Book Review).
Copyright 2009 Bookmarks Publishing LLC --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I thought I knew a lot about Columbine until I read this book. This is a page turner looking at the events that unfolded that day and after! Read morePublished 2 days ago by akinker
I started Columbine and didn't put it down until I finished. I was left drained but far more informed and as a result, I have a far better understanding of the events that led up... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Gwen M.
Good condition. Only a few folds or wrinkles on the cover page but that didn't bother mePublished 4 days ago by Alyssa hunt
I enjoyed this book. It was very good if such a story about this could be "good"Published 4 days ago by Hilda
Excellent read, dispells many of the Columbine myths with true facts. I couldn't put this book down!Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent modern history. Extraordinarily well-written in a readable style. The reader can get a sense of the people behind the story: the survivors, the family members, the... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Kasey Coff