Another Day In The Death Of America by Gary Younge
BOOKS THAT SHAKE YOU
About six years ago, I walked into a bookshop in East London. I didn’t know what I wanted to read but, I told the bookseller, I wanted the kind of non-fiction that makes you stop in your tracks. They told me they didn’t even have to go hunt for the book I needed; it was right there, on the table in front of me.
Gary Younge is a British journalist who, in 2003, was appointed the Guardian’s US correspondent. Based in New York and then Chicago, his startling book focuses on a date that he randomly selected; Saturday, 23 November, 2013.
During this 24 hour period, 10 young people — all male, between the ages of 9 and 19 — were gunned down and killed across 8 American states. Black, white and Latino, Younge spent many, many months researching these deaths and ultimately, the lives, the families and indeed, the stories, behind them. As one review puts it; this is not a book about gun control, it’s a book about what happens in a country where there is no gun control.
Ten utterly tragic deaths, yet Younge conveys how such events are so commonplace, they often fail to get much of a mention — if any at all — in the media. In Chicago alone, he tells us, between 20-30% of children in public schools have witnessed a shooting.
Watching the news coverage of the senseless murder of so many children in Texas today took me back to Younge’s astonishing book. Watching Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut articulate so powerfully how the Sandy Hook community will never be the same again, how now has to be the time for a path forward, took me back to Another Day in the Death of America. Because for all the headlines we see after such a horrific event, we must remember that not only is another like this catastrophically predictable, unless action is taken now — we must also remember that incidents of gun violence — and indeed killings of the young — are happening in the States every single day, we just don’t hear about them all. And neither does anyone else because they’ve actually become, somehow, normalised.
This book didn’t just stop me in my tracks; it brought me to tears and it shook me to the core. And I suspect it will do the same to you ~ S
Order your copy here.