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Publisher's Summary

Soon after its debut at the time of the Civil War, the Gatling gun changed the nature of warfare and the course of world 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, though it was the gun design that would make his name immortal. A man of great business and scientific acumen, Gating used all the resources of the new mass age to promote sales across America and around the world.
Ironically, Gatling actually proposed his gun as a way of saving lives, thinking it would decrease the size of armies and, therefore, make it easier to supply soldiers and reduce malnutrition deaths. The scientists who unleashed America's atomic arsenal less than a century later would see it much the same way.
©2008 Julia Keller (P)2008 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"Keller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, analyzes the nexus between invention and culture in this incisive and instructive cultural history cum biography." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By kevin kohut on 08-22-08

Please save your credits...

I have only written a couple of these over the past 4 years, but I feel it's my obligation to help others use their credits wisely.

All evidence suggests that this rambling essay was written by a 13 year old for a grade 8 project. The only contradiction to the proof is that it lacks the focus you would expect from a child of 13.

Without exageration, I can honestly say that this is the least informative history book I've ever gone through. Now that I've finished it I'm left scratching my head trying to figure out how a book on the Gatling can be so dull...OH! I think I've got it! Don't write much about the actual gun, instead focus on the fact that it wasn't really used in the civil war, and that it wasn't used by Custer, and that it wasn't used by the NY Times editors in the riots.

On second thought: Maybe I'm being unfare; I guess she could have focused many more chapters on where the gun was not used. I just wish she would have included when it WAS used.

I looked up a small encyclopedia entry on the Gatiling and it told me everything she did, but in one lengthy paragraph and with no depletion to my credits.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 12-12-09

Mr. Gatling's Terrible Marvel

Has too much detail and moves too slow for my tastes. Did not catch my interest and able to hold it.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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