Left Bank Books welcomes journalist and author
who will discuss his new book,
From a Taller Tower: The Rise of the American Mass Shooter,
on our Facebook Live Page at 7pm CT on May 17th.
McGraw will be in conversation with Executive Director of Progress Women and former State Representative
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
About From a Taller Tower
We, as a nation, have become desensitized to the shock and pain in the wake of mass shootings. In the bottomless silence between gunshots, as political stalemate ensures inaction, the killing continues; the dying continues. From a Taller Tower attends to the silence that has left us empty in the aftermath of these atrocities. Veteran journalist Seamus McGraw chronicles the rise of the mass shooter to dismantle the myths we have constructed around the murderers and ourselves.In 1966, America's first mass shooter, from atop the University of Texas tower, unleashed a new reality: the fear that any of us may be targeted by a killer, and the complicity we bear in granting these murderers the fame or infamy they crave. Addressing individual cases in the epidemic that began in Austin, From a Taller Tower bluntly confronts our obsession with the shooters--and explores the isolation, narcissism, and sense of victimhood that fan their obsessions. Drawing on the experiences of survivors and first responders as well as the knowledge of mental health experts, McGraw challenges the notion of the "good guy with a gun," the idolization of guns (including his own), and the reliability of traumatized memory. Yet in this terrible history, McGraw reminds us of the humanity that can stop the killing and the dying.
This book is a deep dive into mass shootings--events in which one or more gunmen shoot more than four people--which have become increasingly common, particularly in America, over the last six decades. The book opens on a personal note, describing an event in which the author failed to protect an innocent man from violence, which he likens to our national inability to act and protect each other from these atrocities. From there, he goes back to August 1, 1966, when Charles Whitman murdered more than a dozen people with a sniper's rifle from atop the University of Texas tower. McGraw posits Whitman as the first mass shooter of the era, and uses his case to begin exploring the myths, tropes, and truths of this phenomenon.
"From a Taller Tower is a careful, even cathartic, look at mass shooters-- and the culture that ushers them forth. McGraw dispels the myths "forged in gunfire" with a riveting examination of the before, during, and after of mass shootings."--Amye Archer, co-editor, If I Don't Make It, I Love You: Survivors in the Aftermath of School Shootings
"An important and extraordinary book that takes us into the mind of the mass shooter and also explores our own complicity in the numbing tragedies that have become far too routine in America. Still, Seamus McGraw manages to leave us with hope that there's a way out of the despair." --Perri Peltz, director and producer, Axios on HBO
About the Speakers
Seamus McGraw is a journalist and frequent contributor to the New York Times op-ed page, as well as to the Huffington Post, Playboy, Popular Mechanics, and Fox Latino. He is the author of The End of Country: Dispatches from the Frack Zone, Betting the Farm on a Drought: Stories from the Front Lines of Climate Change, and A Thirsty Land: The Fight for Water in Texas.
Stacey Newman is founder and director of ProgressWomen, a statewide social justice organization that since 2011 has focused on reproductive rights, gun violence, criminal justice and voting rights. She recently retired as a Missouri State Representative in St. Louis County from 2010 - 2018, serving as chair of the House Progressive Caucus.
All you need to do to participate is log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins). You may also watch the simulcast on Left Bank's YouTube channel.
Monday, May 17, 2021 - 7:00pm
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: University of Texas Press - April 20th, 2021