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Comprehending Columbine


reviewed by Jennifer E. Obidah February 28, 2008

coverTitle: Comprehending Columbine
Author(s): Ralph W. Larkin
Publisher: Temple University Press, Philadelphia
ISBN: 1592134912, Pages: 272, Year: 2007
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Comprehending Columbine begins with a very vivid, graphic and highly disturbing reenactment of the events which took place at Columbine High School in Colorado on April 20, 1999, where Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold took the lives of twelve of their fellow students and one teacher. The author describes his book as “the first attempt to analyze the Columbine shootings from a social science perspective” (p. 198). He explores four major themes: the presence and tolerance of bullying and intimidation at the high school; religious intolerance and chauvinism in the community; the rise and popularity of paramilitary culture in the US during the Nineties; and, the culture of celebrity in postmodern America (pp. 15-16). These themes are explored in chapters with provocative titles such as “Armageddon (Well, Almost),” “God’s Country,” “From Oklahoma City to Columbine,” “Dead Celebrities,” and, “Give Peace a Chance.” The data on which this book is based... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: February 28, 2008
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15050, Date Accessed: 10/17/2017 4:30:20 PM

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About the Author
  • Jennifer Obidah
    University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados
    E-mail Author
    JENNIFER E. OBIDAH is the Director of the Education Evaluation Centre at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in Barbados. She was formerly an Associate Professor of Urban Schooling at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. She is the co-author of Because of the Kids: Facing Racial and Cultural Differences in Schools published by Teachers College Press (2001) and has also published research papers in distinguished journals such as the Harvard Educational Review Journal, Teachers College Record, and The Journal of Negro Education. She is co-author of an edited volume, Building Racial and Cultural Competence in the Classroom: Strategies from Urban Educators published by Teachers College Press (2008).
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