Besides a decorated and lethal Navy SEAL sniper credited with the longest kill shot ever recorded—1.2 miles—Chris Kyle was also a loving husband and father. Chris’s love for guns began as a young boy “fighting imaginary bad guys with sticks for guns.” When his parents taught him “…the proper use of real guns,” and how to shoot and use weapons safely, weapons were the tools Chris used in the outdoors. His passion for guns was only surpassed by his love for history, a love that provided the inspiration for him to write American Gun: a History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms.
In these pages Chris selected “…ten guns to serve as the flagship weapons…” he believed influenced and shaped American history that he then wrapped in stories of “…individuals whose sacrifices and strength changed history.” Complete with black and white photos and intricate gun diagrams.
He did it this way because he didn’t want to write a “stodgy textbook” that put readers to sleep, he wanted to “talk history with the bullets flying.” He did that and more as he blends specific gun details with fascinating true stories that explore the “remarkable role guns had in shaping our great nation.”
He begins with the “American Long Rifle,” a gun that earned young rebel Timothy Murphy, a position in the elite brigade of sniper riflemen, led by Colonel Daniel Morgan in 1777. The British never expected anyone to “…deliberately aim at them rather than fire generally at the mass of men on the front line.” That would be uncivilized, akin to a “war crime,” they thought.
The British couldn’t have been more wrong when America’s very existence was at stake. In a short time they called these expert “colonial riflemen—widow-makers.” Their account, wrapped in the rifle’s historical context, to eliminate Red Coat officers in America’s fight for independence, adds fascinating historical detail.
Chapters features “thrilling turning points in American history” characterized by specific guns and their uses. From the “Spencer Repeater” that made confederates ask “What kind of Hell-fired guns have your men got?” to Abraham Lincolns personal gun-testing range, a “weed-and-garbage-strewn field east of the White House.”
One page specifics of each gun with their evolution, known names, when first designed, caliber, primary and current use with notable features are listed in the Appendix. Featured weapons include the “Winchester 1873 Rifle, Springfield Model 1903 Rifle, Colt M1911 Pistol, Thompson Submachine Gun, M1 Garand, .38 Special Police Revolver and M16 Rifle.”
Chris Kyle, America’s most lethal SEAL sniper, protected our nations “patriotic young men and women” on the battlefield with extraordinary shooting skill. Even though that skill came with a “hefty price,” writes wife Taya, a price that cost Chis his innocence. However, he “…willingly paid the price …time and time again” using his “…weapon to save the lives of those he was sent to protect.” Many Americans are alive today because of his service.
In retirement Chris “…found a new use for the gun” to bring healing in his work with “wounded veterans.” However, when the book was in “…its final stages…” Chris was killed Feb 4, 2013 when he and another friend were allegedly shot by a fellow troubled veteran on a Texas gun range: www.abcnews.go.com/Blotter/chris-kyle-americas-deadliest-sniper/story?id=18401566
“Perhaps more than any other nation in the world,” Kyle wrote, “the United States has been shaped by the gun…” Tragically, Chris’s own life and death were also shaped by the guns he loved and used. His wife Taya hopes you get to know the man she loved as you walk back in time with him through the pages of this book, brought to completion with the help of William Doyle and publisher William Morrow.
‘American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms’ by Chris Kyle, William Morrow, 2013, Hardcover, 320 Pages, 978-0062242716, $29.99
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