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Another Day in the Death of America by Gary…

Another Day in the Death of America

by Gary Younge

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2341576,015 (4.13)50
"On an average day in America, seven young people aged nineteen or under will be shot dead. In Another Day in the Death of America, award-winning Guardian journalist Gary Younge tells the stories of the lives lost during the course of a single day in the United States. It could have been any day, but Younge has chosen November 23, 2013. From Jaiden Dixon (9), shot point-blank by his mother's ex-boyfriend on his doorstep in Ohio, to Pedro Dado Cortez (16), shot by an enemy gang on a street corner in California, the narrative crisscrosses the country over a period of twenty-four hours to reveal the powerful human stories behind the statistics. Far from a dry account of gun policy in the United States or a polemic about the dangers of gun violence, the book is a gripping chronicle of an ordinary but deadly day in American life, and a series of character portraits of young people taken from us far too soon and those they left behind. Whether it's a father's unspeakable grief over his son who was at the wrong place at the wrong time, a mentor who tries to channel his rage by organizing, or a friend and neighbor who finds strength in faith, the lives lost on that day and the lives left behind become, in Younge's hands, impossible to ignore, or to forget. What emerges in these pages is a searing portrait of youth, family, and the way that lives can be shattered in an instant on any day in America. At a time when it has become indisputable that Americans need to rethink their position on guns, this moving narrative work puts a human face--a child's face--on the "collateral damage" of gun deaths across the country. In his journalism, Younge is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and looking twice where others might look away. There are some things, he argues, that we have come to see as normal, even when they are unacceptable. And gun violence is one of them. A clear-eyed and iconoclastic approach to this contentious issue, this book helps answer the questions so many of us are grappling with, and makes it even harder to just look away"--… (more)



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This is such a good concept for a book, but the execution was off for me. Each of the ten deaths that occurred that day could easily have had an entire book written about it, so it felt like none of them got the attention to detail that they deserved. Younge succeeded in showing the breadth of gun deaths on any given day, but only glanced on the cultural and governmental factors involved. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
I’m not even sure what to say about this book...wow! This is a thought-provoking book. The author chose a random day, then traced all the deaths of children who died that day as a result of a gun. As the author says in his introduction, this “is not a book about gun control; it is a book made possible by the lack of gun control.”

Though the subject was not easy to read about, it was hard for me to put this book down. One thing that made it interesting was that the perspective of the author was as a black man from England coming from gun-free culture to the gun culture of the U.S. You can feel his initial bewilderment at the ready availability of guns.

I also thought he made an interesting observation about our tendency to feel a shooting death is more tragic when a child is a well-behaved, good student who is always where he should be, thus implying that perhaps a student of lesser abilities who occasionally misbehaves and hangs out in the wrong place somehow ‘deserves’ his fate. As I mentioned, the book is thought-provoking.

This is a well-researched book. For each of the ten boys who died that day, the author not only relates the circumstances of the death, but attempts to go beyond the death, interviewing friends and family to flesh out his story. I really felt like I got to know most of these kids, and some of the stories have stayed with me, even almost a month after I’ve finished the book. The author hasn’t really offered me any solutions, but he did give me a lot to think about! ( )
  Time2Read2 | Mar 30, 2018 |
This is a unique and brilliantly written book that deserves the attention of the American population that truly has no idea of the most poverty-stricken, racially pigeonholed neighborhoods in the country.

It is a sad and realistic account of the United States, a rich country that continues to neglect the daily shootings described in this book. ( )
  AntonioPaola | Jan 27, 2018 |
Tragic as the Newtown Massacre is (20 children died that day, as well as some of their teachers), Gary Younge notes that as many children are killed by guns in America every few days, all year long, and their deaths are not thought of as remarkable because they are scattered here and there rather than in one condensed event. He decided to document the deaths of all children killed by guns on one particular day. He chose November 23, 2013, the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Arithmetically, an average of 9 children and teens are killed by guns everyday. Younge was able to discover 10 children who were killed by guns on November 23, 2013. Since there is no centralized reporting, this may or may not be the true number, but in any event the number of gun deaths for children was no less than 10 on that day. (He did not include gun suicides, often unreported, which it is believed average 2 a day for children and teens.)

Younge states that his aim was "to put a human face--a child's face--on the collateral damage of gun violence in the U.S." He includes a picture and a short biography of each child, and describes the events leading to their deaths and the aftermath of their deaths. The deaths on November 23, 2013 occurred in settings from suburban Grove City, Ohio, to urban Houston, Dallas, Newark and Chicago, to rural Goldsboro, N.C. The events ranged from 9 year old Jaiden shot in the head by his mother's ex-boyfriend, to friends playing with loaded guns that went off, to shootings of teen gang members, to children just in the wrong place at the wrong time, to just being poor and living in a bad neighborhood.

This book was the winner of the 2017 J. Anthony Lukas Prize. It's hard to imagine that anyone could read this book and not be changed. Unfortunately, Newtown didn't change any minds for the gun nuts, and I expect they would also fail to be swayed by this book. Unfortunately, it's clear that gun violence in America is an epidemic that's only getting worse.

Highly recommended.

4 stars ( )
2 vote arubabookwoman | Sep 21, 2017 |
The book starts with a gut-wrenching chapter about the shooting of the youngest victim of gun violence on 23rd November 2013. It works its way through the 10 fatal shootings that happened that day in America, looking at the victims, their lives, their families, also covering wider topics such as segregation, class, poverty, gun control. Some of the stories begin to get a little samey, but the background info and research keep it interesting.

I went to see the author speak in Brixton around the time the paperback was released and he was a very good speaker with well-considered answers to all the questions he was asked. ( )
1 vote AlisonSakai | Aug 16, 2017 |
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On an average day in America, seven children and teens will be shot dead. In Another Day in the Death of America, award-winning journalist Gary Younge tells the stories of the lives lost during one such day. It could have been any day, but he chose November 23, 2013. Black, white, and Latino, aged nine to nineteen, they fell at sleepovers, on street corners, in stairwells, and on their own doorsteps. From the rural Midwest to the barrios of Texas, the narrative crisscrosses the country over a period of twenty-four hours to reveal the full human stories behind the gun-violence statistics and the brief mentions in local papers of lives lost.

This powerful and moving work puts a human face—a child’s face—on the “collateral damage” of gun deaths across the country. This is not a book about gun control, but about what happens in a country where it does not exist. What emerges in these pages is a searing and urgent portrait of youth, family, and firearms in America today.
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