There is no silence on earth deeper than the silence between gunshots; From a Taller Tower faces the depths of that silence, which follows in the wake of the mass shootings that have plagued the United States.
We, as a nation, have become desensitized to the shock and pain in the wake of mass shootings. In the bottomless silence between gunshots, as political stalemate ensures inaction, the killing continues; the dying continues. From a Taller Tower attends to the silence that has left us empty in the aftermath of these atrocities. Veteran journalist Seamus McGraw chronicles the rise of the mass shooter to dismantle the myths we have constructed around the murderers and ourselves.
In 1966, America’s first mass shooter, from atop the University of Texas tower, unleashed a new reality: the fear that any of us may be targeted by a killer, and the complicity we bear in granting these murderers the fame or infamy they crave. Addressing individual cases in the epidemic that began in Austin, From a Taller Tower bluntly confronts our obsession with the shooters—and explores the isolation, narcissism, and sense of victimhood that fan their obsessions. Drawing on the experiences of survivors and first responders as well as the knowledge of mental health experts, McGraw challenges the notion of the “good guy with a gun,” the idolization of guns (including his own), and the reliability of traumatized memory. Yet in this terrible history, McGraw reminds us of the humanity that can stop the killing and the dying.
- Author’s Note
- Prologue. The Deepest Silence There Is
- Chapter 1. The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy
- Chapter 2. Deliver Us from Evil
- Chapter 3. To Kill the Last Killer
- Chapter 4. “’Tis Not Alone My Inky Cloak”
- Chapter 5. Jokers Wild
- Chapter 6. If You See Something, Say Something
- Chapter 7. A Good Guy with a Gun
- Chapter 8. I Cling to My Gun, You Cling to Yours
- Chapter 9. The Fog of War in Peacetime
- Chapter 10. From a Taller Tower
- Epilogue. The Silence between Gunshots
“A memorable, necessary contribution to the national conversation on gun violence.”
Kirkus, Starred Review
“From a Taller Tower is a careful, even cathartic, look at mass shooters and the culture that ushers them forth. McGraw dispels the myths “forged in gunfire” with a riveting examination of the before, during, and after of mass shootings.”
Amye Archer, co-editor, If I Don’t Make It, I Love You: Survivors in the Aftermath of School Shootings
“One of the most important books you can read this or any year. It’s impossible to read this work without nodding or wincing or even crying.”
Patrick Skinner, detective, Savannah, Georgia
“An important and extraordinary book that takes us into the mind of the mass shooter and also explores our own complicity in the numbing tragedies that have become far too routine in America. Still, Seamus McGraw manages to leave us with hope that there's a way out of the despair.”
Perri Peltz, director and producer, Axios on HBO