Reading Matters

Wesley Lowery’s ‘They Can’t Kill Us All’ - ‘never reads like a data dump’

Dwight Garner, a reviewer for the New York Times, had this to say Nov. 10, about Pulitzer-winning Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery’s book, “They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Facial Justice Movement.”

“Mr. Lowery collected hundreds of interviews for this book, and he recounts his visits to many cities to cover shootings. But his book never reads like a data dump. It has a warm, human tone.

In part this is because he is open about his reporting process; we get to see how the sausage is made. He tells us about his mistakes, and he issues mea culpas. After one such error, when he used overheated language in a tweet, one of his editors delivers a dictum he takes to heart: “The more emotional the story, the less emotional the reporter.”

Mr. Lowery introduces his readers to a new generation of black activists and reporters. He offers small profiles of these men and women, not all of them glowing. He confidently deals out small, intense set pieces. We watch the filmmaker and musician Bree Newsome train for the morning in the summer of 2015 when she shimmied up a 30-foot flagpole outside the South Carolina State Capitol and took down a Confederate flag.”