George Washington had his portrait painted with one. Daniel
Boone created a legend with one. Abraham Lincoln liked to try them out
on the White House lawn. And Teddy Roosevelt had his specially
customized. Now, 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
Beginning in the eighteenth century, American soldiers -- including
George Washington -- discovered that they did not have to fight in
Europe's time-honored way with massed, brute, highly inaccurate
musketry. With the development of the famed "Kentucky Rifle" -- a
weapon slow to load but devastatingly accurate in the hands of an
expert -- a new kind of warfare had begun. So had the birth of the
American individualist in battle.
In this spirited narrative, Alexander Rose reveals the hidden
connections between the rifle's development and our nation's history.
We witness the high-stakes international competition to produce and
procure better gunpowder . . . how the mysterious arts of metallurgy,
gunsmithing, and mass production played vital roles in the creation of
the American economy . . . and the ways in which bitter infighting
between rival armament companies affected diplomacy and some of the
most momentous political decisions in American history. And we learn
how each advance in riflery and ammunition triggered debates and
changes in military tactics, how tests -- frequently bizarre -- were
conducted, how choices were made and specific guns impacted entire wars.
From physics to geopolitics, from frontiersmen to the birth of the influential National Rifle Association, American Rifle
is a must read for history buffs, gun aficionados, soldiers -- and
anyone who wants to understand the dynamic relationship between the
rifle and our nation's history.
pub date: 2008-10-21 | hardcover | 9780553805178