Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture
Soft Skull Press
, 2003 - History
- 604 pages
Americans have always staunchly, sometimes bloodily, defended their right to bear arms, but does the historical record bear out this right? Michael Bellesiles, in a meticulous study of the issue that draws extensively on archival material and original sources, says no. He traces "gun fever" to its European origins, documents the rarity of firearms in early America, covers technological advances, and details the strange series of developments during the Civil War that helped make the gun an integral and deadly fixture in modern American life. This revised and updated edition offers new research addressing critics' legitimate concerns, showing that the underlying thesis of the book remains as solid -- and timely -- as ever.