American Rifle: A Biography (Paperback)
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George Washington insisted that his portrait be painted with one. Daniel Boone created a legend with one. Abraham Lincoln shot them on the White House lawn. And Teddy Roosevelt had his specially customized.
In this first-of-its-kind book, historian Alexander Rose delivers a colorful, engrossing biography of an American icon: the rifle. Drawing on the words of foot soldiers, inventors, and presidents, based on extensive new research, and spanning from the Revolution to the present day, American Rifle is a balanced, wonderfully entertaining history of the rifle and its place in American culture.
About the Author
Born in the United States, Alexander Rose was raised in Australia and Britain. A military historian and former journalist, he is the author of Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring, and his writing has appeared in the New York Observer, the Washington Post, Studies in Intelligence, and many other publications.
“Marvelous…. Like David McCullough in The Great Bridge, Rose has the rare ability to make technology come alive even for the non-technology-minded. He is not only a good historian but also a gifted storyteller.”—Michael Korda, Washington Post
“Fascinating…. The history of the U.S. is mirrored in the history of one of it technological achievements…. Loaded with detail, full of lively characters and an abundant spirit of invention. The history of the rifle is also the history of mass production, of American politics, of the legal system, and of war itself.”—Booklist
“Entertaining…. Loaded with facts…. Drawing on numerous primary sources, from letters and journals of ordinary soldiers to the writings of inventors such as Samuel Colt, Rose traces the rise of the rifle from its original use as a hunting tool and a means of defense and protection to its eventual use as an offensive weapon in wars of conquest.”—Publishers Weekly
“One of the most interesting nonfiction books of the year…. packed with fascinating anecdotes … and keen insights into the nexus of civilian politics, business, and the military.”—National Review
“Good reading for those on either side of the gun-control debate….A fascinating story replete with missed opportunities, skulduggery, entrenched dogma and internecine battles.”—Sunday Oregonian
“Ingenious and satisfying…. Provides surprising insight into the country’s history.”–Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Definitive … full of lost historical fact and intriguing anecdotes.”–Sacramento Bee
"Irresistible history…American Rifle, a biography of a revolutionary idea, is ingeniously conceived, deftly written and thoroughly engrossing."—Dallas Morning News
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