Customer Reviews for

American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

Chris Kyle, author of his bestselling memoir American Sniper, wa

Chris Kyle, author of his bestselling memoir American Sniper, was no stranger to guns. As a Navy SEAL, he had a record confirmed 160 kills. Beyond his expert marksmanship, Kyle possessed the unique ability to be a great storyteller. At the time of his tragic death in Fe...
Chris Kyle, author of his bestselling memoir American Sniper, was no stranger to guns. As a Navy SEAL, he had a record confirmed 160 kills. Beyond his expert marksmanship, Kyle possessed the unique ability to be a great storyteller. At the time of his tragic death in February 2013, he was working on a new project, American Gun.
In the book, Kyle chronicles American history, beginning during the revolutionary war. Each section details this history using a different firearm as the main focus. Having shot each of the weapons featured in the book, Kyle not only speaks of the physical aspects of the guns, but also provides a wealth of historical context that surrounds them. Rather than write about each gun in a textbook fashion, which Kyle himself admits would be incredibly boring, he zeroes in on the human side of the story, placing the reader in the place of the men who used the weapons.
There are a few moments of historical speculation, particularly in the section about Lincoln's push to get  the multi-shot Spencer Repeater rifle into the hands of his Union soldiers. Lincoln was met with resistance from military leaders who saw the new technology as gimmicky. Kyle argues that, had the Union used the new weapons sooner, the Civil War would have ended sooner, and more American lives could have been spared. Despite this speculation, Kyle acknowledges the facts and seems to respect the history as it occurred.
In the past year, firearms have become a hotly politicized topic. I was a bit worried that, as a man who spent a great deal of time with weapons, Kyle would turn this book into a kind of propaganda tool. Fortunately, Kyle never seems to be preachy or pushing an ideology upon the reader. Instead, he writes with a passionate respect for both guns and the history surrounding them. Perhaps his words sum it up the best. "You can get a little fancy talking about guns. . . That's not fair. Real life has been messy, bloody, complicated. . . But the past can show us the way to the future. It can give us hope. . ." (pg. 261-262)

posted by ABookAWeekES on June 4, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

This book chronicles the development of firearms from the Revolu

This book chronicles the development of firearms from the Revolutionary War. Mr Kyle covers firearms that led to the development of his  ten choices and along the way he throws in stories of the firearms being used in combat. I am a history buff and I am happy to say th...
This book chronicles the development of firearms from the Revolutionary War. Mr Kyle covers firearms that led to the development of his  ten choices and along the way he throws in stories of the firearms being used in combat. I am a history buff and I am happy to say that many of his stories I had not read before. This is a great read.

posted by 5278379 on July 2, 2013

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  • Posted June 4, 2013

    Chris Kyle, author of his bestselling memoir American Sniper, wa

    Chris Kyle, author of his bestselling memoir American Sniper, was no stranger to guns. As a Navy SEAL, he had a record confirmed 160 kills. Beyond his expert marksmanship, Kyle possessed the unique ability to be a great storyteller. At the time of his tragic death in February 2013, he was working on a new project, American Gun.
    In the book, Kyle chronicles American history, beginning during the revolutionary war. Each section details this history using a different firearm as the main focus. Having shot each of the weapons featured in the book, Kyle not only speaks of the physical aspects of the guns, but also provides a wealth of historical context that surrounds them. Rather than write about each gun in a textbook fashion, which Kyle himself admits would be incredibly boring, he zeroes in on the human side of the story, placing the reader in the place of the men who used the weapons.
    There are a few moments of historical speculation, particularly in the section about Lincoln's push to get  the multi-shot Spencer Repeater rifle into the hands of his Union soldiers. Lincoln was met with resistance from military leaders who saw the new technology as gimmicky. Kyle argues that, had the Union used the new weapons sooner, the Civil War would have ended sooner, and more American lives could have been spared. Despite this speculation, Kyle acknowledges the facts and seems to respect the history as it occurred.
    In the past year, firearms have become a hotly politicized topic. I was a bit worried that, as a man who spent a great deal of time with weapons, Kyle would turn this book into a kind of propaganda tool. Fortunately, Kyle never seems to be preachy or pushing an ideology upon the reader. Instead, he writes with a passionate respect for both guns and the history surrounding them. Perhaps his words sum it up the best. "You can get a little fancy talking about guns. . . That's not fair. Real life has been messy, bloody, complicated. . . But the past can show us the way to the future. It can give us hope. . ." (pg. 261-262)

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Been waiting for this book for a while and it looks like the wai

    Been waiting for this book for a while and it looks like the wait was worth it! Rip Chris Kyle, a true American hero.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 7, 2013

    Enjoyable read

    I bought this book as I saw the author's wife being interviewed on TV. I was interested in the book after the interview and found the book to be a very good history of various firearms over a period of many years. If you are a history buff or a gun owner you will enjoy this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2013

    Chris Kyle at his best

    This is historically very good and accurate. This book supports capitalism, research and development and The Constitution. This book is non-biased and very informative. If you are a history buff it is a must read. This book takes you from the conception of America to today. Regardless of your viewpoint you will enjoy this book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 11, 2013

    Highly recommended

    It's a great read and accurate history of guns in America. It doesn't hurt that it was written by an American hero.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013

    "I'm Not A Gun Nut, and I Enjoyed This Book"

    Okay, I do own a 50 year old Marlin 22 rifle, and I have been target shooting before, but I don't own any of the weapons Chris Kyle and his co-authors explore in this "history of America". I do read a lot of history, and found the way Chris links these weapons to what has happened in America interesting and entertaining. The fact that his knowledge of and personal interests in fire arms could cover such a broad period of time made the book an enjoyable read. Congrats to his wife for helping to push this book to publication after Chris's untimely departure.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2013

    Great Book

    This was a very good read. I liked the way Chris told the story of each gun and its contribution to American history. His writing is clear and to the point without being overly academic. His humor is refreshing. I am a former SEAL and I am probably biased but i'd recommend this book to casual and serious gun enthusiasts. Hooyah Chris!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013

    Excellent read for young, old and in-between.

    Written is a way that you can almost feel Kyle sitting there telling you the story behind each gun. Gun details are great and the role each gun played in U.S. history is extremely interesting. Very easy to read (finished in 2 days) and even my wife enjoyed it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013

    Worthwhile

    A worthwhile book to read. It had interesting history associated with the firearms he chose to write about!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Chris Kyle's American Gun is a fascinating book with each chapte

    Chris Kyle's American Gun is a fascinating book with each chapter dedicated to a different weapon. He takes us through history starting with the Revolutionary War. He not only tells about the different firearms but also surrounds the information with historical context.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2013

    This book chronicles the development of firearms from the Revolu

    This book chronicles the development of firearms from the Revolutionary War. Mr Kyle covers firearms that led to the development of his  ten choices and along the way he throws in stories of the firearms being used in combat. I am a history buff and I am happy to say that many of his stories I had not read before. This is a great read.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2014

    Horrible Horrible

    Bad

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2014

    Great Story!

    Chris Kyle tells a great story with this book. The way his chapters progress keeps any one reading. I was able to read this book in a day and a half, while American Sniper took me a few days. There are many reasons why Chris Kyle's death is tragic, but the fact that we will never read another book written by him is sad. R.I.P. Chris Kyle

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2014

    Good Read

    This is a good read about some of the firearms that made America. Probably nothing a follower of firearm history doesn't know but there are some interesting stories. If you like firearms you will probably like this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    Jaiden

    You know Livi and I had s.ex just so you know! And she has always been jelous of me! Im not lying

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  • Posted November 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    'American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms' is a truly

    'American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms' is a truly engaging and fascinating book that goes through the history of the United States by detailing ten of the most important and influential firearms throughout the times. The book is full of interesting facts and details, along with great pictures and illustrations that add fantastic visual aids to the narrative as a whole. The writing is done in a conversational tone and doesn't come across and stuffy or boring. I'm not a huge history fan or a firearms buff, but I found myself really interested in the ten firearms the author chose to represent our country's history. The author is clearly very knowledgeable on the subject and does a fantastic job of drawing the reader into the histories told by using real characters and happenings. This is a definite must read for both lovers of history and firearm fanatics!

    Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2013

    Another great book by Chris Kyle

    With Mr. Kyle's expertise in all things weapons I really enjoyed this book. It not only described ten great arms that helped shape this country but he gave us a lot of history of our people and our country. Once again Mr. Kyle did a fantastic job of authoring his books. My condolences to his family and my appreciation for all he did and for his family.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2013

    Highly recommended

    Excellent book for the western history and gun enthusiest.
    Written by a great American and Navy SEAL.
    God bless Chris' family.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2013

    Great read!

    I am only half way through the book, but the stories of each gun the author chose are very interesting. Big thumbs up!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2013

    Not surprisingly well done

    Reading a book you know is going to be about history can be off-putting, but Chris Kyle and his contributors did a great job with this. I wish he could be here to see it's success.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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