Four Friends: Promising Lives Cut Short by William D. Cohan is the story of four of his former Andover classmates, each of whom tragically died at a young age. Cohan, a former investment banker turned journalist whose writing has appeared in Vanity Fair and the New York Times, tells a strong personal story. His book questions how the intensely competitive environment fostered at elite prep schools shaped the lives of his former classmates as well as
their untimely deaths.
Untimely, this is the profound emotion that comes through this story. Tragic, unlucky, not fair, all of those…..but profoundly untimely, for all who loved and counted on them.
Of the four men chronicled in the book, one died in an early morning Manhattan traffic accident, another was murdered in San Francisco. The third drowned in a sailing accident. The fourth was John F Kennedy Jr. For anyone with any acquaintance with the world of New England boarding schools and the pressure placed on students at a very young age, there will be much in this book that is relatable.
How was that connection? The connection between their upbringing and the culture and pressure at Andover and their untimely death? This is the critical question for all readers.
This very personal narrative is in the same vein as his previous book The Price of Silence, which told the story of the 2006 Duke Lacrosse scandal.
Of all of his writing, this is the first truly personal account.