Friday, June 08, 2007

My new-found love of Jess Walter led me to Every Knee Shall Bow: The truth and tragedy of Ruby Ridge and the Randy Weaver family, his non-fiction account of the 1992 standoff. I only have vague memories of this event because it all happened before I starting paying much attention to politics (that would come a couple of months later), so most of it was completely new to me. Walter naturally begins earlier with Vicki Weaver's childhood and follows her as she meets Randy. Together they and their family slowly become more and more radicalized in their religious and racial beliefs before ultimately moving to Idaho and isolating themselves. He doesn't demonize the Weavers, but he doesn't excuse them either. The same treatment is applied to the FBI and the other government agencies who become involved. He lays out the facts and lets them speak for themselves. It's not hard to conclude that many tragic mistakes were made and there was plenty of blame on both sides. It's extremely well written and riveting and Walter never resorts to sensationalism.

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