An American Tragedy

Large Print - 2014
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December 14, 2012. Sandy Hook Elementary School. We remember the numbers. We remember the names, the ages. And we remember the questions. Newtown: An American Tragedy is the definitive journalistic account -- not only of that horrific day but of the perfect storm of mental instability and obsession that preceded it and, in the aftermath of unspeakable heartbreak, the controversy that continues to play out on the national stage. Newtown breaks through a miasma of misinformation with its comprehensive and astonishing portrayal of an American tragedy
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, 2014
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9781410467355
Branch Call Number: LARGE PRINT 371.782 Lysiak 2014
Characteristics: 375 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
Large print


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ArapahoeHollyR Sep 26, 2017

A good basic account of Newtown. I would be interested to read a longer more, comprehensive book but this is a great starting point for anyone looking for a solid overview.

Aug 30, 2017

A chilling, powerful account of the shocking massacre of 6 educators and 20 young children on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
I couldn't put this book down, riveted as I was by author Lysiak's ominous chronicle of shooter Adam Lanza's growing developmental problems, his frustrated mother Nancy's inability to find the medical care that could accurately diagnose and fix her son's bizarre dysfunctions (if indeed Adam was "fixable"--highly debatable), his descent into isolation and madness, and the horrifying act that viciously, mercilessly ended 28 lives--28 counting Nancy, Adam's first victim, and Adam himself, when finally he turned the gun on himself as the police closed in.

I closed this book feeling extremely conflicted about Adam's parents. I'll bet I'm not the only one.
Towards Nancy: What the HELL was this woman thinking, taking to shooting ranges a son she knew was sliding deeper and deeper into mental illness and indulging his fascination with guns? Was that really the only way she knew to bond with the boy? Even given her gun culture upbringing couldn't the woman see, couldn't she sense, how potentially dangerous this was?
How could she know her son was so disturbed yet remain in such denial? It would be cruel and unfeeling to use a term like poetic justice, but there is terrible irony, and inevitability, that Nancy would be the first person Adam murdered.

Towards Peter, Adam's father, long estranged from Nancy and eventually from Adam as well: Jesus Christ! Couldn't he have done something to head off any part of this awful tragedy? I vaguely remember Peter Lanza's interview with one of the evening newsmagazine shows--Dateline, or some such--shortly after the tragedy. His contrition and sorrow were palpable, and I remember feeling sorry for the man as he admitted he felt so ashamed of the chaos and pain Adam had inflicted that he wished his son had never been born. That's a hell of thing to say about your own child, but given the circumstance you knew what he meant.
But this book has made me angry. The author does not assign blame, but it was hard not to feel that Peter Lanza used his divorce from Adam's mother as a way of avoiding Adam's problems. Granted it was Adam who, upset by his father's new marriage and life, rejected Peter, refusing to have anything further to do with him. Reasonably, you might ask what more he could do.
I don't know. Something. Adam was his son and he was deeply troubled. Even from a distance, his father should have tried to monitor what was going on in that house.


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