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Columbine by Dave Cullen
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Columbine (edition 2010)

by Dave Cullen

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2,4701743,587 (4.31)286
Member:sylviawrigley
Title:Columbine
Authors:Dave Cullen
Info:Twelve (2010), Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library
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Columbine by Dave Cullen

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A comprehensive and exhaustive look at the tragedy at Columbine High School. Dave Cullen exposes the falsehoods surrounding this event and takes aim at all involved. The media reporting erroneous reports and not correcting them. The investigating authorities in Colorado that refused to release information in a timely fashion and correct error in the reported stories.

Lets put it this way if you thought that you knew the story of Columbine, read this book and you will realize how little you know. ( )
1 vote foof2you | Aug 19, 2018 |
The author has created a thoughtful, detailed account of what happened. It includes a deep look at the lives of some of the people involved. He comes up with some important conclusions about school shootings. The bullying diagnosis is inaccurate, although bullying is a problem. School shootings are better described as performance art created by deeply depressed people. ( )
  margaretfield | Jun 3, 2018 |
For a book that essentially covers only one event, albeit, a significant one, it is a remarkably interesting and involved work. The reporting is simply outstanding. The author goes so far beyond the "headlines" and "sound bites", that it is very hard to imagine any item, any detail, any aspect that could offer further understanding had been overlooked. And yet, this book is far from boring or bloated from too much detail. I've found no record that the author has written any other books yet. Perhaps it simply sucked the journalistic life out of him for a while. One final point: reading this after another recent school massacre, I actually was comforted by this book. It's not that the book convinces me that another tragedy won't occur; quite the contrary. But it gives such a full understanding of how and why Columbine happened, that I feel much more " in control" for responding to any others. ( )
  larryerick | Apr 26, 2018 |
Il 20 aprile 1999 a Littleton, nel Colorado, Eric Harris e Dylan Klebold uccisero a colpi di arma da fuoco un insegnante e dodici studenti, ferendone altri ventiquattro, nella Columbine High School dove entrambi frequentavano l’ultimo anno. Nella storia degli USA ci sono stati tre massacri scolastici peggiori in termini di bilancio, due precedenti e uno seguente, ma è Columbine a esserne ormai diventato sinonimo.Ciò che è successo, almeno in termini di dinamica e di bilancio, si sa, ma la quasi totalità di quello che ci hanno raccontato finora sulla strage è falso. Non c’è stata nessuna Trench Coat Mafia, non c’è stata nessuna vendetta da parte di sfigati nei confronti dei bulli, non c’è stato nessun riferimento al nazismo nella scelta del giorno e nessuna delle vittime è morta per la propria fede religiosa. Tutto questo è il risultato combinato delle azioni di uno sceriffo incompetente e conscio di anni di errori procedurali nel gestire i precedenti dei ragazzi, di media ansiosi di dare per primi una risposta qualunque e di pastori evangelici pronti a sfruttare testimonianze dubbie di alcuni sopravvissuti per fare proselitismo.
Dave Cullen, giornalista che era presente fuori dalla scuola quel giorno e che negli ultimi dieci anni quasi non si è occupato d’altro, ha avuto accesso a tutti gli atti finora desecretati (alcuni, pochi, resteranno inaccessibili fino al 2027) e ha scritto questo notevole documento, che di certo non sarà “In Cold Blood / A sangue freddo” quanto a valore letterario, ma è di sicuro un solidissimo esempio di giornalismo non contaminato da superficialità e da facili reazioni emotive. Questo però non significa che l’opera non contenga passaggi che fanno rabbrividire. Klebold era un depresso con tentazioni suicide, ma Harris aveva tutte le caratteristiche comportamentali clinicamente riconosciute (meno, cosa curiosa, le torture sugli animali) dello psicopatico. Il suo complesso di superiorità, la totale mancanza di empatia e l’enorme talento nel mentire e nel manipolare lasciano senza parole ancora di più se confrontate con le scoperte di studi successivi dell’FBI e del Secret Service, per aiutare insegnanti e presidi a riconoscere potenziali minacce. Come riassume Cullen a un certo punto: «They said identifying outcasts as threats is not healthy. It demonizes innocent kids who are already struggling. It is also unproductive. Oddballs are not the problem. They do not fit the profile. /There is no profile/ [tutta quest’ultima frase è in corsivo, ndr]».
Forse la facilità con cui si possono ottenere armi negli USA è l’unico fattore su cui si sarebbe potuto intervenire a priori per evitare o almeno per limitare la strage: per il resto, sembrano dirci Cullen e uno stuolo di psichiatri, non c’è niente da fare. Potrebbe capitare a chiunque, senza distinzioni di retroterra. E se come me si è genitori, questo pensiero mette ancora più paura. Di sicuro il miglior libro di saggistica/mémoir dell’anno, finora. ( )
  plivo | Apr 21, 2018 |
Will discuss this book in a booktalk I plan to do this fall.... this was the one, for me, that started it all.... I mean, Columbine (referring, as mentioned in the book, to the name of the school as if it were the name of the tragedy itself) was the first school shooting I can remember. I'm sure there were others during my lifetime before Columbine, but having just become a mother a few months before this event, I was freshly aware of the fact that there were other lives as important as (or MORE THAN) my own. I was shocked and utterly saddened by this event. Knowing that there have been so very many more since then, I am at a loss as to what can be done to prevent future school shootings.... but I feel like reading about them and discussing them with others may at least put us on the right path. I don't know.
**Sorry, this is not exactly a review of the book itself as much as it is a mini-rant on the overall subject. I thought the book was amazing. One I'll recommend to many!** ( )
  trayceetee | Apr 9, 2018 |
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Epigraph
The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.
-- Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
I am a wicked man. . . . But do you know, gentlemen, what was the main point about my wickedness? The whole thing, precisely was, the greatest nastiness precisely lay in my being shamefully conscious every moment, even in moments of the greatest bile, that I was not only not a wicked man but was not even an embittered man, that I was simply frightening sparrows in vain, and pleasing myself with it.
--Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground

Dedication
For Rachel, Danny, Dave, Cassie, Steven, Corey, Kelly, Matthew, Daniel, Isaiah, John, Lauren, and Kyle. And for Patrick, for giving me hope.
First words
He told them he loved them. Each and every one of them.
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Book description
Provides an account of the shootings at Colorado's Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, focusing on the teenage killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, drawing from interviews, police files, psychological studies, and writings and tapes by the boys to look at the signs they left that disaster was looming.
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"On April 20, 1999, two boys left an indelible stamp on the American psyche. Their goal was simple: to blow up their school and to leave 'a lasting impression on the world.' Their bombs failed, but the ensuing shooting defined a new era of school violence ... Dave Cullen delivers a profile of teenage killers that goes to the heart of psychopathology. He lays bare the callous brutality of mastermind Eric Harris and the quavering, suicidal Dylan Klebold, who went to the prom three days earlier and obsessed about love in his journal. The result is an account of two good students with lots of friends, who were secretly stockpiling a basement cache of weapons, recording their raging hatred, and manipulating every adult who got in their way. They left signs everywhere. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, thousands of pages of police files, FBI psychologists, and the boys' tapes and diaries, he gives a complete account of the Columbine tragedy ... A close-up portrait of violence, a community rendered helpless, and police blunders and cover-ups, it is a human portrait of two killers"--From publisher description.… (more)

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