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American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing Mass Market Paperback – 4 Apr 2002
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A major news event: The first book to tell the true and complete story of the most horrific act of domestic terrorism in US history - as informed by exclusive interviews with the bomber Timothy McVeigh, as well as his family and 300 others. On April 19, 1995, the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City was destroyed by a bomb that claimed 168 lives, including those of 19 children. In June of 1997, 29-year-old Timothy McVeigh was convicted of the bombing and sentenced to death. But McVeigh, whose case is currently up for appeal, has never publicly confirmed or denied his role in the bombing; he has never given a complete accounting of exactly what happened that day, or in the days and months preceding the event. Until now. Investigative journalists Lou Michel and Dan Herbeck have covered the story of the Oklahoma City bombing since McVeigh was first named as a suspect. And now they have secured an extraordinary coup: the first extensive interview with the killer McVeigh, conducted over more than 75 hours and furthered by an extensive correspondence with the authors.In these pages, the authors have reconstructed every last detail of the conception, planning, and execution of this tragedy. McVeigh has given this exhaustive account freely, without any compensation or approval, and his contributions have been supplemented by over 300 other interviews with others - from his family to survivors of the bombing. The details of this account will on their own make this book a page-one newsmaker - and will almost certainly influence the fate of others whose day in court awaits. But Michel and Herbeck have gone beyond merely reconstructing the bombing. In these pages they offer the first complete portrait we have had of McVeigh's life: of the formation of his character from childhood through his Gulf War experience and the plunge into the world of anti-government extremists and gun-show agitators that fanned the flames of his hatred. This will be the definitive account of the making of America's most chilling mass murderer.
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Some of the details are a little freaky as I come from a different era yet I read many of the same books and watched the same movies. Even had many similar experiences in the army even though it was a different MOS and locations. I was in armed recon.
The book is well written by Lou Michel and Dan Herbeck, staff reporters for the Buffalo News. I could tell occasionally that the writers were writing about things that they did not experience themselves.
This one book should not be overlooked if you want to be culturally literate.
2. I am a reasonable modern agnostic Norwegian. When I started to read the book, I reacted to the fact that the writer without any distance assumes a strongly religious viewpoint, from himself and implicitly from the reader. There are numerous religious references to for example praying and God in the text. I find the text higly disrespectful to people of different life perspectives. I was so annoyed by this that I stopped reading the book after 50 pages.
3. For more persistent and less lazy readers this element might in fact be positive, as it gives an illustration of possible cultural differences between modern European societies and the United States.
This book is well worth the few pound it costs and does really reveal alot about the case and Timothy McVeigh.