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Sunday, July 5, 2009

"Columbine," by Dave Cullen

I hope soon to interview Dave Cullen, local reporter, whose book on the Columbine High School shooting is based on "hundreds of interviews with most of the principals, examinations of more than 25,000 pages of police evidence, [and] countless hours of video and audiotape." I just finished it last night. It's a harrowing book, vivid and thought-provoking. We've contacted him for our "Authors @ Douglas County Libraries" Internet video series, and he seems willing. What impresses me most about Cullen is that he never takes the easy option. All parties -- evangelical churches and families, angry parents, SWAT team members, the media, and even the killers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, all come under consideration in a way that is both dispassionate and compassionate.

15 people died at Columbine (including Harris and Klebold). Twice that number were injured. But the plan was considerably worse. If the bombs, made and planted, had gone off as intended, the death toll could have been 500 or more.

Highly recommended -- the definitive book on the tragedy to date.

4 comments:

jeff said...

You might want to consider the "other" definitive book, Jeff Kass' Columbine: A True Crime Story, a victim, the killers and the nation's search for answers

starviego said...

You are still being lied to. Big time. If you want to find out what really happened at Columbine I suggest you read what the eyewitnesses had to say:

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/columbineeight.php

Jamie said...

Thanks, Jeff, I'll do that. starviego, this book actually does a good job of explaining a lot of the inconsistencies of eyewitness accounts, including the maintenance worker on the roof, and the fact that the killers took off their "dusters" as they moved through the building, creating the impression of more people. The link you provided doesn't really give a coherent alternative. Most of the comments are addressed in Cullen's book.

Dave Cullen said...

Thanks, Jamie. Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate that, and I'm looking forward to the interview.