Stephen Karlson (shkarlson) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Stephen Karlson


David Vann's Last Day on Earth: A Portrait of the NIU School Shooter is his attempt to come to terms with  difficult times in his own life by attempting to understand something about how access to guns plus being troubled might have led to tragedy.  His work takes issue with some of the conclusions in the university's own evaluation of Steven Kazmierczak's state of mind.  In writing the book, he had access to material the university either did not use or did not have permission to use.  Book Review No. 9 will note only that some of Mr Vann's interpretations of the evidence are at variance with interpretations Cold Spring Shops sources close to the case have offered, and that some of his conjectures about Mr Kazmierczak's motivations might be colored by priors or prejudices the author might have developed in the East Bay.  At the time the book came out, its very publication, and the author including DeKalb on his book tour, were topics of some controversy around these parts.  The title to this post, however, comes from the concluding pages, in which Mr Vann describes the university as "a community of generous, smart, warm people" who also have had to come to terms with a terrible event that can neither define the institution nor be wished away.

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)
Tags: academic, current events, true crime

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