Thirteen seconds;: Confrontation at Kent State

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9780396062721: Thirteen seconds;: Confrontation at Kent State

The dramatic original account of events that shook the nation.

At noon on May 4, 1970, a thirteen-second burst of gunfire transformed the campus of Kent State University into a national nightmare. National Guard bullets killed four students and wounded nine. By nightfall the campus was evacuated and the school was closed. A generation of college students said they had lost all hope for the System and the future.

How did it happen that young Americans in battle helmets, gas masks, and combat boots confronted other young Americans wearing bell-bottom trousers, flowered shirts, and shoulder-length hair? What were the issues and why did the confrontation escalate so terribly? Would there be future confrontations like the one of May 4?

To answer these questions, prize-winning reporters Eszterhas and Roberts, who were on campus on May 4, spent weeks interviewing all the participants in the tragedy. They traveled to victims' homes and talked to relatives and friends; they spoke to National Guardsmen on the firing line and to students who were fired on. By putting together hundreds of first-person accounts they were able to establish for the first time what actually took place on the day of the shooting.

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About the Author:

Joe Eszterhas was 25 years old and had been with the Cleveland Plain Dealer for three years when he co-wrote this book. In 1969 he wrote the Life magazine account of the My Lai massacre; in 1970 he received the Associated Press Award for his six-part series. He was a senior editor at Rolling Stone magazine from 1971 to 1975. He has written screenplays for several major Hollywood movies, including Basic Instinct in 1992, and has written several other nonfiction books, including Hollywood Animal, an autobiography, and Crossbearer: A Memoir of Faith. Michael D. Roberts was 30 years old and had been with the Cleveland Plain Dealer for seven years when he co-wrote this book. He reported on assignment from Vietnam, the Middle East, and the newspaper’s Washington Bureau.

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Eszterhas, Joe
Published by Dodd, Mead (1970)
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