A Safeway in Arizona
What the Gabrielle Giffords Shooting Tells Us About the Grand Canyon State and Life in America
A riveting account of the state of Arizona, seen through the lens of the Tucson shootings
On January 8, 2011, twenty-two-year-old Jared Lee Loughner opened fire at a Tucson meet-and-greet held by U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. The incident left six people dead and eighteen injured, including Giffords, whom he shot in the head.
Award-winning author and fifth generation Arizonan Tom Zoellner, a longtime friend of Giffords's and a field organizer on her Congressional campaign, uses the tragedy as a jumping-off point to expose the fault lines in Arizona's political and socioeconomic landscape that allowed this to happen: the harmful political rhetoric, the inept state government, the lingering effects of the housing market's boom and bust, the proliferation and accessibility of guns, the lack of established communities, and the hysteria surrounding issues of race and immigration.
Zoellner offers a revealing portrait of the Southwestern state at a critical moment in history- and as a symbol of the nation's discontents and uncertainties. Ultimately, it is his rallying cry for a saner, more civil way of life
"A Safeway in Arizona is a masterly work of reporting, historical analysis, and sly cultural criticism."
"A Safeway in Arizona, is Zoellner's quirky, uneven, brave and astonishingly heartfelt attempt to make sense of the Saturday-morning massacre"
-San Francisco Chronicle
"Overall, A Safeway in Arizona's exploration of its issues is appealingly candid and thought-provoking. What could be a long slog of dry background information is skillfully structured to read as a fresh account of crucial events that made a lasting impression on the teller. Zoellner's perspective on this state and what we've made of it, as well as Giffords' enviable relationship with most of her constituents, constitute a gripping story that presents a side of the whole mess you're not likely to find elsewhere."
-Phoenix New Times
"Tom Zoellner's remarkable book about a moment of tragedy in Arizona ends up a story of survival--a wounded Congresswoman's survival, and a wounded nation's survival as well."
-Richard Rodriguez, author of Brown: The Last Discovery of America
"Zoellner brilliantly evokes the past and present of Arizona, the outsized personalities that have shaped the state and the paranoia lurking at the edge of society."
"Fascinating...get[s] to the heart of what is unique about Arizona's political climate."
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