67 Shots: Kent State and the End of American Innocence

67 Shots: Kent State and the End of American Innocence

by Howard Means

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Overview

At midday on May 4, 1970, after three days of protests, several thousand students and the Ohio National Guard faced off at opposite ends of the grassy campus Commons at Kent State University. At noon, the Guard moved out. Twenty-four minutes later, Guardsmen launched a 13-second, 67-shot barrage that left four students dead and nine wounded, one paralyzed for life. The story doesn't end there, though. A horror of far greater proportions was narrowly averted minutes later when the Guard and students reassembled on the Commons.

The Kent State shootings were both unavoidable and preventable: unavoidable in that all the discordant forces of a turbulent decade flowed together on May 4, 1970, on one Ohio campus; preventable in that every party to the tragedy made the wrong choices at the wrong time in the wrong place.

Using the university's recently available oral-history collection supplemented by extensive new interviewing, Means tells the story of this iconic American moment through the eyes and memories of those who were there, and skillfully situates it in the context of a tumultuous era.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306823794
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 04/12/2016
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 715,096
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Howard Means is the author or co-author of ten books, most recently 67 Shots: Kent State and the End of American Innocence (Da Capo, 2016). Hailed by the Christian Science Monitor as "one of the most heartbreaking books in memory," 67 Shots is being developed as a feature length film by Everyman Pictures (Jay Roach) and Little Stranger Picture (Tina Fey & Jeff Richmond). Means' previous book, Johnny Appleseed: The Man, the Myth, the American Story (Simon & Schuster, 2011), was featured on NPR and in the weekend Wall Street Journal, and also optioned for TV and/or film.

Prior to turning full-time to book-length works, Means was senior editor at Washingtonian magazine, an op-ed columnist for King Features Syndicate, a daily journalist, and in the distant past, a schoolteacher. He began swimming competitively when he was five years old, continued through college, then coached for seven years. Swimming continues to define his life: Pools, rivers, lakes, quarries, oceans are his natural medium. Writing Splash! has been a labor of love.

Table of Contents

Kent State Campus, May 4, 1970 ix

Prologue: May 4, 1970-South Vietnam 1

1 "We Have to Say 'F-' Everywhere" 5

2 Burn, Baby-Burn 25

3 Night of the Helicopters 41

4 Danse Macabre 59

5 Blood Like a River 77

6 Once to Every Man and Nation 97

7 "Oh, My God! They've Killed the Guardsmen!" 113

8 The Age of Hate 125

9 An Unfortunate Incident 141

10 Blind Justice 159

11 Plan B 185

12 Paradise Lost 207

Afterword 225

Notes 229

Selected Bibliography 243

Acknowledgments 245

Index 247

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