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The Reed College of Media and College of Creative Arts will merge to form the new WVU College of Creative Arts and Media as of July 1, 2024. Get details.

WVU Reed College of Media professor releases new book

Digging deep and uncovering the truth is second nature to veteran investigative reporter John Temple.

John Temple with book

And now, the West Virginia University Reed College of Media journalism professor is releasing his fourth nonfiction book, "Up in Arms: How the Bundy Family Hijacked Public Lands, Outfoxed the Federal Government, and Ignited America’s Patriot Movement.” The book chronicles Cliven and Ammon Bundy’s 2014 standoffs with the federal government over land-grazing fees in Nevada.

“I had other books in mind but then it occurred to me one day that no one had written a comprehensive book on the Bundys, and it felt so timely and related to all of the civil discontent that our country is experiencing,” said Temple. “It felt like the first big public event that awoke mainstream Americans to the idea that people were really unhappy with the federal government and I thought that was worth exploring.”

The book explores how groups of people can live distinctly different realities based on where they’re getting their news.

“One of the goals of the book is to show what it was like to be in the media bubble that the Bundys and followers were in, and how they took advantage of that. Their actions don’t seem quite as outlandish if you understand what their reality was,” Temple said.

Shedding light on pressing issues in America is important to Temple. He is the author of three other nonfiction books, “American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed American’s Deadliest Drug Epidemic,” “The Last Lawyer: The fight to Save Death Row Inmates” and “Deadhouse: Life in a Coroner’s Office.”

“American Pain,” the true story of how twin brothers Chris and Jeff George built the largest pill mill in the United States, was a 2016 Edgar Allen Poe Award nominee for Fact Crime as well as a New York Post Favorite Book of 2015. Temple has been featured on various media outlets for his investigative journalism including Bustle, CNBC, CSPAN, the Daily Beast, the Huffington Post, USA Today, the Washington Post and Variety.

Prior to joining the College of Media faculty in 2002, Temple taught creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned an M.F.A. He also worked as a newspaper reporter for six years in Pennsylvania, Florida and North Carolina.

“Up in Arms” will be released June 25, but can be preordered on For more information, visit