From “one of America’s smartest political writers” (Glenn Beck) comes a fascinating and accessible history of the United States’ unique and enduring relationship with guns, for fans of Chris Kyle’s American Gun.
For America, the gun is a story of innovation, power, violence, character, and freedom.
From the founding of the nation to the pioneering of the West, from the freeing of the slaves to the urbanization of the twentieth century, our country has had a complex and lasting relationship with firearms. Now, in First Freedom, nationally syndicated columnist and veteran writer David Harsanyi explores the ways in which firearms have helped preserve our religious, economic, and cultural institutions for over two centuries. From Samuel Colt’s early entrepreneurism to the successful firearms technology that helped make the United States a superpower, the gun is inextricably tied to our exceptional rise.
In the vein of popular histories like Salt and Going Clear, Harsanyi takes you on a captivating and thrilling ride of Second Amendment history that demonstrates why guns are not only an integral part of America’s past, but also an essential part of its future.
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About the Author
David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist, one of the leading conservative/libertarian web magazines in the nation. Harsanyi is a nationally syndicated columnist and the author of three books.
Table of Contents
Prologue: From Prey to Predator 1
Part I New Worlds
1 First Contact 11
2 Pilgrims Progress 18
3 Powder Alarm 31
4 "Fire!" 42
5 The Finest Marksmen in the World 54
6 Liberty's Teeth 64
7 Freedom's Guarantee 71
Part II Discovery
8 Go West 83
9 Peacemaker 95
10 Bullet 114
11 Those Newfangled Gimcrackers 123
12 Fastest Gun in the West 132
13 The Showman 143
Part III Modernity
14 Hellfire 157
15 An American in London 166
16 American Genius 173
17 The Chicago Typewriter 189
18 Great Arsenal of Democracy 199
19 Fall and Rise of the Sharpshooter 207
20 Peace Dividends 215
21 The Great Argument 225
Conclusion: Molon Labe 238
Selected Bibliography 277
List of Illustrations and Credits 308
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Very little of this book was new to me. Ive been reading about firearms for decades. The presentation is lucid and the author has written in an interesting conversational manor. I would have been pleased to read in much more detail certain aspects, but for a first exposure this hits the high points. Interested readers can follow this subject with books by Chris Kyle or John Plaster. Its my belief that the 2nd amendment was one of the most impactful statements ever made for its brevity. Just 27 words, one sentance, and they changed the line of history from rule by force to rule by consent. Other reading about our nations founding and the importance placed on the means of securing freedom have left me to wonder how this is even a debatable issue. People that do not know what 2a is about can scream all they want. Their loudness only serves to make reach for my ear protection. See you all at the range.