Sandy Hook: An American Tragedy and the Battle for Truth

Dutton. Mar. 2022. 496p. ISBN 9781524746575. $28. SOC SCI
In her first book, New York Times journalist Williamson examines the aftermath of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting that killed 20 children and 26 people overall. In preparation, the author conducted more than 400 interviews and examined thousands of pages of court testimony. Inspired by Leonard Posner, who lost his six-year-old son Noah in the shooting, Williamson covers Posner’s efforts to bring false conspiracy theories and misinformation to light. Days after the shooting, radio host Alex Jones speculated that it was staged and suggested that it was a “false flag.” (Jones suggested the same for the movie theater shooting five months earlier in Aurora, CO.) Another contributing factor is that Sandy Hook took place just as the use of social media was ascending, providing another fertile platform for conspiracy theories and falsehoods. As the author tells in painstaking detail, family members of the children murdered at Sandy Hook were threatened and harassed in voice mails, texts, letters, and even in person; these types of responses have unfortunately not been unique to Sandy Hook, Williamson writes.
VERDICT An important book that is recommended for anyone concerned about the rise conspiracy theories in American society, and how families are working to preserve their children’s legacies in the aftermath of tragedy.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing