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Reply #71: The Truth About Kent State by Peter Davies [View All]

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kainah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-05-06 01:15 AM
Response to Reply #69
71. The Truth About Kent State by Peter Davies
It's always the first I recommend. It's out of print but you can find copies through Amazon independent dealers. It was originally written in 1971-1972 as an argument for why Congress and/or the Justice Department should investigate what happened. Then it was turned into a book. One of the reasons I like Peter's book so much is because he uses the photos to prove his points.

(On a personal note, I like it because it was Peter's book that got me into the research. Peter was living in Staten Island, appalled at the shootings. He wrote a note to Arthur Krause, Allison's father, after the shootings sharing his horror. From that note, Arthur knew Peter was something special and Arthur reeled Peter into the web of investigators. Three years later, I picked up Peter's book at the library, couldn't stop studying it, had a question, sent him a letter and he saw in my letter the same dogged curiosity that Arthur had seen in Peter's and, as Peter once told me, he did to me what Arthur had done to him.)

There are really surprisingly few books about Kent State ... especially if you compare it to, say, the Kennedy assassination. I have (nearly -- see below) every book ever written on the subject, including multiple copies of some, additional magazines, unpublished manuscripts, memorial programs, etc., etc., and I still think it probably all takes up less that 5 feet of shelving space.

Because Peter's was written so long ago, there is a lot that we've begun to question since then that isn't included. The only book that really covers the stuff that happened after the early 70s is by Bill Gordon. It's been published in hard and soft cover, confusingly with a name change in between. In hardcover, it's called "The Fourth of May" and in paperback "Four Dead in Ohio." Again, you can find it through Amazon's independent booksellers. I know, like, and respect Bill and his research. Unfortunately, though, I have to say that I think he has trouble sustaining a clear narrative for people because he's so involved in the minutiae. I am, as you might suspect, a devotee of Kent State minutiae so I find Bill's book very valuable but I suspect for those who are just trying to learn what happened, it's a forest with the trees in the way.

Philip Caputo, a good writer, also recently released "Thirteen Seconds." It is actually still in print but I haven't read it. :-) From what I've read and heard, it's a good narrative. His "Rumour of War" was outstanding so this, too, should be good. (You've actually made me just go order it so that I can have a better sense of this book.) It also comes with a DVD, of what I don't really know. There is also another older book called "Thirteen Seconds" written by Joe Eszterhas, who was then a Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter and subsequently went on to write screenplays. It's good but was out within a year so it really doesn't cover a lot of the questions. Wanted to mention it so that you'd be aware of the two books, by different authors, with the same name.
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