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Parkland
Cover of Parkland
Parkland
Birth of a Movement
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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

On the first anniversary of the events at Parkland, the acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author of Columbine offers an intimate, deeply moving account of the extraordinary teenage survivors who became activists and pushed back against the NRA and feckless Congressional leaders—inspiring millions of Americans to join their grassroots #neveragain movement.
Nineteen years ago, Dave Cullen was among the first to arrive at Columbine High, even before most of the SWAT teams went in. While writing his acclaimed account of the tragedy, he suffered two bouts of secondary PTSD. He covered all the later tragedies from a distance, working with a cadre of experts cultivated from academia and the FBI, but swore he would never return to the scene of a ghastly crime.

But in March 2018, Cullen went to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School because something radically different was happening. In nearly twenty years witnessing the mass shootings epidemic escalate, he was stunned and awed by the courage, anger, and conviction of the high school's students. Refusing to allow adults and the media to shape their story, these remarkable adolescents took control, using their grief as a catalyst for change, transforming tragedy into a movement of astonishing hope that has galvanized a nation.

Cullen unfolds the story of Parkland through the voices of key participants whose diverse personalities and outlooks comprise every facet of the movement. Instead of taking us into the minds of the killer, he takes us into the hearts of the Douglas students as they cope with the common concerns of high school students everywhere—awaiting college acceptance letters, studying for mid-term exams, competing against their athletic rivals, putting together the yearbook, staging the musical Spring Awakening, enjoying prom and graduation—while moving forward from a horrific event that has altered them forever.

Deeply researched and beautifully told, Parkland is an in-depth examination of this pivotal moment in American culture—and an up-close portrait that reveals what these extraordinary young people are like as kids. As it celebrates the passion of these astonishing students who are making history, this spellbinding book is an inspiring call to action for lasting change.

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

On the first anniversary of the events at Parkland, the acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author of Columbine offers an intimate, deeply moving account of the extraordinary teenage survivors who became activists and pushed back against the NRA and feckless Congressional leaders—inspiring millions of Americans to join their grassroots #neveragain movement.
Nineteen years ago, Dave Cullen was among the first to arrive at Columbine High, even before most of the SWAT teams went in. While writing his acclaimed account of the tragedy, he suffered two bouts of secondary PTSD. He covered all the later tragedies from a distance, working with a cadre of experts cultivated from academia and the FBI, but swore he would never return to the scene of a ghastly crime.

But in March 2018, Cullen went to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School because something radically different was happening. In nearly twenty years witnessing the mass shootings epidemic escalate, he was stunned and awed by the courage, anger, and conviction of the high school's students. Refusing to allow adults and the media to shape their story, these remarkable adolescents took control, using their grief as a catalyst for change, transforming tragedy into a movement of astonishing hope that has galvanized a nation.

Cullen unfolds the story of Parkland through the voices of key participants whose diverse personalities and outlooks comprise every facet of the movement. Instead of taking us into the minds of the killer, he takes us into the hearts of the Douglas students as they cope with the common concerns of high school students everywhere—awaiting college acceptance letters, studying for mid-term exams, competing against their athletic rivals, putting together the yearbook, staging the musical Spring Awakening, enjoying prom and graduation—while moving forward from a horrific event that has altered them forever.

Deeply researched and beautifully told, Parkland is an in-depth examination of this pivotal moment in American culture—and an up-close portrait that reveals what these extraordinary young people are like as kids. As it celebrates the passion of these astonishing students who are making history, this spellbinding book is an inspiring call to action for lasting change.

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About the Author-
  • Dave Cullen is the author of New York Times Bestseller Columbine. Cullen has also written for New York Times, BuzzFeed, Vanity Fair, Politico Magazine, Times of London, New Republic, Newsweek, Guardian, Washington Post, Daily Beast, Slate, Salon, The Millions, Lapham's Quarterly, and NPR's On The Media.
Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    November 1, 2018

    Author of the New York Times best-selling Columbine, Cullen was impressed by the courage of student survivors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, who withstood political pressure and the NRA to campaign for gun control. Here he blends their activism with a portrait of their post-shooting lives, as they manage their way through the end of the school year. Just dropped into the schedule (note the February date); with a 150,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    February 1, 2019
    An incisive study of one of the past year's most significant mass shootings, with publication tied to the one-year anniversary.Cullen spent 10 years researching and writing his book Columbine (2009), which meticulously documented the Colorado high school massacre, with an emphasis on the two students who planned it. This time, in the aftermath of the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, committed by a former student on Feb. 14, 2018, the author has produced an impressively deep account in just 10 months. Never naming the murderer of 14 students and three staff members, the author focuses on surviving students who coalesced to promote gun control by spreading their message, encouraging voter registration, and seeking to influence legislatures at the local, state, and national levels. Starting with his initial coverage of the story for Vanity Fair just after the shooting, Cullen immersed himself with the students, many of whom left classes to tour the nation. Throughout the book, the author demonstrates his rapport with the students as well as Parkland parents, teachers, and community leaders. When he deems it appropriate and relevant, Cullen effectively compares and contrasts the Columbine and Parkland experiences. As he notes, his years of immersion in the Columbine tragedy left him with secondary PTSD, so diving in to the Parkland aftermath felt personally risky. However, he persisted, believing that the hopeful messages of the students would outweigh the darkness. Chronicling how the mostly middle- or upper-class Parkland students eventually expanded their crusade to address other issues related to guns, Cullen memorably captures many of the interests they share with often stereotyped inner-city teenagers from violent neighborhoods. In nearly 60 pages of detailed endnotes, the author expands on the revelations in the main narrative, discusses his information-gathering methods, and discloses potential conflicts of interests due to the close relationships he has formed with survivors.In both Columbine and this up-to-the minute portrait of the Parkland tragedy, Cullen has produced masterpieces that are simultaneously heartbreaking and hopeful about a saner future.

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Elise Jordan, NBC political analyst "Parkland is exceptional. I really look forward to it being unleashed to the world, because the Parkland students really did something. They are a political force to be reckoned with in our country."
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Part character study, part media analysis, part political critique, Parkland ends up being many things. Thanks to Dave Cullen's gift for clear, involving storytelling, it ends up being, above all, a compelling "year-in-the-life" tale of a group of ordinary, yet also extraordinary, teens."
  • Washington Post "Parkland is one of the most uplifting books you will read all year. . . . [it] is a balm. . . . genius."
  • San Francisco Chronicle "[Parkland] provides nuanced, sensitive portraits of the Parkland kids who have become media stars. . . . These are extraordinary young people, and Cullen does them and us a great service by showing their ordinary lives."
  • The Atlantic "Parkland is the first book about the shooting that's not marketed toward teens and young adults. It also may be the most optimistic of the bunch. . . . an inspiring read."
  • Newsday Parkland is an unexpectedly lively chronicle with a powerful message.
  • Book Forum "If any nonfiction writer is equipped to tell this story, it's Dave Cullen."
  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "In both Columbine and this up-to-the minute portrait of the Parkland tragedy, Cullen has produced masterpieces that are simultaneously heartbreaking and hopeful about a saner future."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "[A] page-turner. . . . Both realistic and optimistic, this insightful and compassionate chronicle is a fitting testament to a new chapter in American responses to mass shootings."
  • Booklist (starred review) "Cullen brings his eloquence, expertise, combination of deep research and concision, and unbiased perspective to yet another mass school shooting, revealing its deepest layers and resonance. . . . [a] moving, defining, and important account of an essential and vital youth movement."
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Birth of a Movement
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