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Publisher's Summary

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. Now, in this first-of-its-kind audiobook, historian Alexander Rose delivers a colorful, engrossing biography of an American icon: the rifle.
Drawing on the words of soldiers, inventors, and presidents, based on extensive new research, and encompassing the Revolution to the present day, American Rifle is a balanced, wonderfully entertaining history of this most essential firearm and its place in American culture. In the eighteenth century American soldiers discovered that they no longer had to fight in Europe's time-honored way. With the evolution of the famed "Kentucky" Rifle - a weapon slow to load but devastatingly accurate in the hands of a master - a new era of warfare dawned, heralding 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 the most potent gunpowder…how the mysterious arts of metallurgy, gunsmithing, and mass production played vital roles in the creation of American economic supremacy…and the ways in which bitter infighting between rival arms makers shaped diplomacy and influenced the most momentous decisions in American history. And we learn why advances in rifle technology and ammunition triggered revolutions in military tactics, how ballistics tests - frequently bizarre - were secretly conducted, and which firearms determined the course of entire wars. From physics to geopolitics, from frontiersmen to the birth of the National Rifle Association, from the battles of the Revolution to the war in Iraq, American Rifle is a must listen for history buffs, gun collectors, soldiers - and anyone who seeks to understand the dynamic relationship between the rifle and this nation's history.
©2008 Rosewriter Inc. (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By T. Patterson on 12-17-13

A Nation of Riflemen

What did you love best about American Rifle?

Completeness of information, especially some of the political manuvering between factions in the military and civilian government in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The 1903 Springfield!

What about Joe Barrett’s performance did you like?

Easy to listen to.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It just made me smile.

Any additional comments?

Overall, a thorough presentation of the rifle and especially its significance in the development of America. I have been an amateur scholar of American military firearms for decades. The information presented here added to my knowledge.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By mike on 04-27-18

for those with a deep love of firearms history

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

By far, the best start for anyone wanting to take a deep dive into the history and performance of American military infantry rifles. It is a great primer for anyone wanting to learn more about the subject.

What was one of the most memorable moments of American Rifle?

There are many but to sum it up, Mr. Rose does not mind dispelling long held dogma about how great this rifle was or how because G.Is had such and such rifle they were able to win this battle, yet he does so without being iconoclast about it and inserting his own opinions about it.

Have you listened to any of Joe Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

The narrator was fine and well suited to the subject matter

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, it's not a behemoth but it is long and is a biography after all

Any additional comments?

One of the best resources for information I have read in a long time.

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