Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio (Hardcover)
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From Derf Backderf, the bestselling author of My Friend Dahmer, comes the tragic and unforgettable story of the Kent State shootings
On May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard gunned down unarmed college students protesting the Vietnam War at Kent State University. In a deadly barrage of 67 shots, 4 students were killed and 9 shot and wounded. It was the day America turned guns on its own children—a shocking event burned into our national memory. A few days prior, 10-year-old Derf Backderf saw those same Guardsmen patrolling his nearby hometown, sent in by the governor to crush a trucker strike. Using the journalism skills he employed on My Friend Dahmer and Trashed, Backderf has conducted extensive interviews and research to explore the lives of these four young people and the events of those four days in May, when the country seemed on the brink of tearing apart. Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio, which will be published in time for the 50th anniversary of the tragedy, is a moving and troubling story about the bitter price of dissent—as relevant today as it was in 1970.
About the Author
Derf Backderf is the bestselling, award-winning author of My Friend Dahmer and Trashed. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
“[Backderf’s] expertly crafted chronicle of this defining moment in U.S. history serves as a deeply moving elegy for the victims. Readers may also draw from it sobering parallels to the deep divisions of contemporary times, again dangerously rife with media noise and misinformation muddying the waters.”
— Publishers Weekly, STARRED Review
“An incendiary corrective to the myths and misconceptions surrounding these events and a memorial to the lives lost or forever altered that should be required reading for all Americans.”
— Library Journal - STARRED review
"Deeply researched and gut-wrenching…”
— The New Yorker
“One of the masterpieces of the medium...a work of devastating emotional impact.”
— Rob Salkowitz
“The meticulous research is shown in more than two dozen pages of notes, confirming the sources from the Kent State University May 4 Collection about the shootings, but also Backderf’s personal research and interviews.”
— The Akron Beacon Journal
“Kent State is meticulously researched…Backderf is in total artistic control of his material.”
— Cleveland Review of Books