The Spiral Notebook: The Aurora Theater Shooter and the Epidemic of Mass Violence Committed by American Youth

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9781619027442: The Spiral Notebook: The Aurora Theater Shooter and the Epidemic of Mass Violence Committed by American Youth
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On July 20, 2012, twelve people were killed and fifty-eight wounded at a mass shooting in a movie theater in Colorado. In 1999, thirteen kids at Columbine High School were murdered by their peers. In 2012, twenty children and seven adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary. Thirty-two were killed at Virginia Tech. Twelve killed at the Washington Navy Yard. In May 2014, after posting a YouTube video of retribution” and lamenting a life of loneliness, rejection, and unfulfilled desires,” a lone gunman killed six and wounded seven in Isla Vista. All of these acts of violence were committed by young men between the ages of eighteen and thirty.

Mass violence committed by young people is now an epidemic. In the first fourteen school days of 2014, there were seven school shootings, compared to twenty-eight school shootings in all of 2013. The reasons behind this escalating violence, and the cultural forces that have impugned a generation, is the subject of the important new book The Spiral Notebook.

New York Times-bestselling author Stephen Singular has often examined violence in America in his critically-acclaimed books. Here he has teamed with his wife Joyce for their most important work yet one that investigates why America keeps producing twenty-something mass killers. Their reporting has produced the most comprehensive look at the Aurora shooting yet and draws upon the one group left out of the discussion of violence in America: the twenty-somethings themselves.

While following the legal proceedings in the Aurora shooting, The Spiral Notebook is full of interviews with Generation Z, a group dogged by big pharma and anti-depressants and ADHD drugs, by a doomsday/apocalyptic mentality present since birth, and by an entertainment industry that has turned violence into parlor games.

Provocative and eye-opening, The Spiral Notebook is a glimpse into the forces that are shaping the future of American youth, an entire generation bathed in the violence committed by their peers.

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About the Author:

Stephen Singular has published twenty books about high profile crimes and their impact on society. His articles have appeared in New York Magazine, Psychology Today, Inside Sports, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and American Photo.

Joyce Singular is a researcher and collaborator on a number of titles with her husband, adding a female perspective on the nature of crime. They live in Denver, Colorado, with their son.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

People my age aren’t taught anything about how to deal with their emotions. They don’t have any background for this and many don’t have any grounding in morality or spirituality. A lot of males of my generation have been raised without fathers. They try to act as if this doesn’t bother or affect them, but it does. They’re insecure about it, but never talk about that. They don’t have male role models who can show them how to behave not just physically, but emotionally. Or their fathers are so caught up in their work that they never take the time to do this. How do you deal with anger or fear when it comes up inside of you? How do you manage yourself when something deeply upsets or hurts you? If you don’t have a parent, especially one of your own gender, to look to for this kind of guidance, it makes it doubly hard to grow up. In the absence of these role models, what do you have? Action characters in video games and movies.

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