Columbine by Dave Cullen

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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, Oklahoma-City style, and to leave "a lasting impression on the world." Their bombs failed, but the ensuing shooting defined a new era of school violence-irrevocably branding every subsequent shooting "another Columbine."

When we think of Columbine, we think of the Trench Coat Mafia; we think of Cassie Bernall, the girl we thought professed her faith before she was shot; and we think of the boy pulling himself out of a school window -- the whole world was watching him. Now, in a riveting piece of journalism nearly ten years in the making, comes the story none of us knew. In this revelatory book, Dave Cullen has delivered 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 prom three days earlier and obsessed about love in his journal.

The result is an astonishing account of two good students with lots of friends, who came to stockpile a basement cache of weapons, to record their raging hatred, and to manipulate every adult who got in their way. They left signs everywhere, described by Cullen with a keen investigative eye and psychological acumen. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, thousands of pages of police files, FBI psychologists, and the boy's tapes and diaries, he gives the first complete account of the Columbine tragedy.

In the tradition of HELTER SKELTER and IN COLD BLOOD, COLUMBINE is destined to be a classic. A close-up portrait of hatred, a community rendered helpless, and the police blunders and cover-ups, it is a compelling and utterly human portrait of two killers-an unforgettable cautionary tale for our times.

About Dave Cullen

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Dave Cullen is a journalist and author who has contributed to Slate, Salon, and the New York Times. He is considered the nation's foremost authority on the Columbine killers, and has also written extensively on Evangelical Christians, gays in the military, politics, and pop culture. A graduate of the MFA program at the University of Boulder, Cullen has won several writing awards, including a GLAAD Media Award, Society of Professional Journalism awards, and several Best of Salon citations.
Published March 3, 2010 by Twelve. 464 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Columbine

USA Today

Subtitle: "The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History" Subtitle: "The Last Crossing of the Lusitania" © 2012 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc.

Apr 16 2009 | Read Full Review of Columbine

A Patchwork of Books

But when I think of not writing, my breath catches, and it's akin to cutting off a limb.Even still, I've tried not writing, anyway, but then I start to feel this constant pressure - write, write, write, write.

| Read Full Review of Columbine

I have always been fascinated with Columbine because I went to high school in a white, affluent suburb, and the social parallels I can draw between my school and Columbine are disturbing.

Oct 09 2012 | Read Full Review of Columbine

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Michael Manley 18 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 5 out of 5