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But I'm not impressed with this book.
The pictures shown are out of sequence with events as they happened.
Items that wouldn't change over time, such as sculptures are not shown on the illustration of the guard vs. students, in order to give the reader a sense of things as they exist today.
The use of color photos in the text is hap-hazard. (Perhaps it would have even have been cheeper for her publisher to greyscale the 3 or 4 and call it a day.)
With all of that said, it is the only book about May 4th 1970, available for the school and children's room markets. And even that has taken 28 years to happen! So it's a good start...but there's so much room for improvement.
We're finally on our own
This summer I hear the drumming
Four dead in Ohio
Gotta get down to it soldiers are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago
What if you knew her and found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know
I am sure more people know Neil Young's lyrics to the CSN&Y song "Ohio" then remember what it was all about, although certainly the Pulitzer Prize winning photograph this is on the cover of this volume is unforgettable. Actually, it is rather interesting to think that what happened at Kent State on May 4, 1970 would be worthy of a Cornerstones of Freedom volume along with events like the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Arlene Erlbach begins this volume with a concise summary of what exactly was being protested on the Kent State campus that weekend after President Nixon's announcement he would be sending U.S. troops into Cambodia. An incident involving a car driving through an impromptu bonfire ended up with Governor James Rhodes ordering out the Ohio National Guard to Kent State. Erlbach goes through the chronology of what happened that day, showing how "the unthinkable" came to happen. The book deals with the aftermath of the shootings, in terms of both criminal and civil trials, as well as what happened to the shooting victims.
"Kent State" ends with a detailed description of the memorial built at Kent State to commemorate the incident, which honors both those students killed and injured as well as the American servicemen and servicewomen who lost their lives in Vietnam. The threshold of the plaza has three reflective sones inscribed with the words "Inquire, Learn, Reflect," which also reflects why students would read this particular Cornerstones of Freedom series. I am sure most American history books make Kent State a minor footnote to the story of the Vietnam War, but even if this book does not really get into how the death of these four students affect the nation's psyche, I think you can appreciate that it really did so.
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