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Gunpowder: Alchemy, Bombards, and…

Gunpowder: Alchemy, Bombards, and Pyrotechnics : The History of the… (original 2004; edition 2004)

by Jack Kelly

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200986,851 (3.5)5
Title:Gunpowder: Alchemy, Bombards, and Pyrotechnics : The History of the Explosive That Changed the World
Authors:Jack Kelly
Info:Basic Books (2004), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Tags:History, Warfare, Weapon, Early European Warfare

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Gunpowder: The Explosive That Changed the World by Jack Kelly (2004)



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» See also 5 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Not great , but it answered the primary question I had. ( )
  Baku-X | Jan 10, 2017 |
Very neat little book that tells a few good action yarns, gives overall historical insight and juicy technical details. Most interesting: the ferocious speed and expansion of an explosion, how containment makes the crucial difference (as at Jutland in recent Dan Snow TV program): the French monarchy's manure collection (for the nitrate); and "explodes" the myth that the Chinese only used gunpowder for fun - t's just that the West pushed the technology further and faster. ( )
  vguy | Aug 30, 2016 |
Not great , but it answered the primary question I had. ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
Its an interesting write up of the history of Gunpowder - from the invention of it in China, to how it was used in the American Revolution. At times, it was a bit slow. But for the most part, I enjoyed this book.

I think the biggest thing I learned about it is how, only until recently, was guns even a game changer in the War. I do wish the author would have written more about how gunpowder was used in non-western part of the world. The book mostly concentrates on Europe and the USA. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Aug 18, 2013 |
An informative book about the history of gunpowder that is also exceptionally readable and interesting.
  margad | Aug 20, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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(Prologue): Fire ignites our dreams and our anxieties.
In the mountains of western China, legendary semi-human monsters called shan peeked through the leaves at the campfires of travelers.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0465037186, Hardcover)

When Chinese alchemists fashioned the first manmade explosion sometime during the tenth century, no one could have foreseen its full revolutionary potential. Invented to frighten evil spirits rather than fuel guns or bombs-neither of which had been thought of yet-their simple mixture of saltpeter, sulfur, and charcoal went on to make the modern world possible. As word of its explosive properties spread from Asia to Europe, from pyrotechnics to battleships, it paved the way for Western exploration, hastened the end of feudalism and the rise of the nation state, and greased the wheels of the Industrial Revolution.With dramatic immediacy, novelist and journalist Jack Kelly conveys both the distant time in which the "devil's distillate" rose to conquer the world, and brings to rousing life the eclectic cast of characters who played a role in its epic story, including Michelangelo, Edward III, Vasco da Gama, Cortez, Guy Fawkes, Alfred Nobel, and E.I. DuPont. A must-read for history fans and military buffs alike, Gunpowder brings together a rich terrain of cultures and technological innovations with authoritative research and swashbuckling style.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:35 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Traces the history of the explosive mixture created by Chinese alchemists in the tenth century, a critical invention that has fueled innovations and shaped the technology of warfare and the evolution of modern history.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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