I received a free Kindle copy of this book courtesy of Net Galley and Da Capo Press, the publisher, with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Amazon, Goodreads and my blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus pages.
I requested this book for two reasons. The first is that I was in my freshman year of college when this occurred and caused our campus to close early that year as did many others. The second is that later in life I became friends with Jim Russell who was one of the students wounded that day. He was not protesting, but simply going between classes when he was caught in the line of fire. He unfortunately passed away a few years ago. This is the first book by Howard Means that I have read.
Howard Means does an excellent job of addressing one of the most tragic days in American History that has been plagued by controversy. The book is well researched and well written. It is engaging and thoughtful. It does not read like a piece of history, but more like a documentary of the events leading up to and after May 4, 1970. He uses first hand accounts from several different parties – protesters, students, faculty, National Guardsmen, and townspeople. He debunks several of the statements made early on as a result of no verifiable proof that they happened.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the events surrounding Kent State and the events of May 4, 1970.