Above the Shots: An Oral History of the Kent State Shootings By Craig S. Simpson and Gregory S. Wilson

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Christina R. Steidl

Abstract

Was there an order to fire? Did the protests of the previous weekend justify the presence of the Ohio National Guard on campus? Debates persist, even forty-six years after guardsmen opened fire on student protestors at Kent State University. Craig S. Simpson and Gregory S. Wilson’s Above the Shots provides a critical examination of the Kent State shootings. The authors draw from numerous archival sources, as well as fifty oral history interviews collected between 1990 and 2010 as part of the Kent State Shootings Oral History Project, to arrive at a more complete understanding of the events of May 1-4, 1970. Their use of these interviews provides the lynchpin that sets this book apart from the wealth of other scholarship about Kent State, most of which has sought to assess the veracity of contradictory claims. Simpson and Wilson begin by acknowledging that the oral histories frequently depart from factual evidence, verging even into the realm of rumor, but argue that they provide the reader with a more thorough understanding not only of the events that transpired, but also of the motivations and meanings assigned to these events by participants. 

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How to Cite
Steidl, C. (2019). Above the Shots: An Oral History of the Kent State Shootings By Craig S. Simpson and Gregory S. Wilson. Indiana Magazine of History, 113(2), 176-177. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/imh/article/view/27608
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