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Mr. Gatling's Terrible Marvel: The Gun That Changed Everything and…
by Julia Keller
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670018945, Hardcover)A provocative look at the life and times of the man who created the original weapon of mass destruction
Drawing on her investigative and literary talents, Julia Keller offers a riveting account of the invention of the world's first working machine gun. Through her portrait of its misunderstood creator, Richard Jordan Gatling-who naively hoped that the overwhelming effectiveness of a multiple-firing weapon would save lives by decreasing the size of armies and reducing the number of soldiers needed to fight-Keller draws profound parallels to the scientists who would unleash America's atomic arsenal half a century later. The Gatling gun, in its combination of ingenuity, idealism, and destructive power, perfectly exemplifies the paradox of America's rise in the nineteenth century to a world superpower.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:26 -0400)
Although little used during the American Civil War--the time in which it was invented--the Gatling gun soon changed the nature of warfare and the course of history. Discharging 200 shots per minute with alarming accuracy, the world's first machine gun became vitally important to protecting and expanding America's overseas interests. Its inventor, Richard Gatling, was famous in his own time for creating and improving many industrial designs, from bicycles and steamship propellers to flush toilets. Gatling actually proposed his gun as a way of saving lives, thinking it would decrease the size of armies. Cultural critic Julia Keller's account of the invention, its misunderstood creator, and its tremendous impact on world events also shows how its combination of ingenuity, idealism, and destructive power, perfectly exemplified the paradox of America's rise as a world superpower.--From publisher description.
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