Arming America

Arming America

The Origins of A National Gun Culture

Book - 2000
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Baker & Taylor
The author of Revolutionary Outlaws traces the evolution of America's gun culture to the mid-nineteenth-century age of industrialization, arguing that the surge in gun manufacturing during the Civil War and the decision to allow soldiers to keep their weapons after the war transformed the gun from seldom-used tool to perceived necessity. 17,500 first printing.

Book News
Bellesiles (history, Emory U.) explodes a number of myths about the role of guns in American history. Examining probate records, correspondence of militia commanders, and a number of other sources he finds that gun ownership among average Americans wasn't widespread until as late as the Civil War. He also argues that from the very beginning of European settlement, guns were highly regulated by authorities and that guns were viewed as having a special status as being ultimately at the disposal of government. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

Traces the rise of America's gun culture to the mid-nineteenth century, arguing that Civil War gun manufacturing and allowing ex-soldiers to keep their weapons changed the gun from a scarce and seldom-used tool to a perceived necessity.

Publisher: New York : Knopf, c2000
ISBN: 9780375402104
Branch Call Number: 363.33 BEL
Characteristics: 603 p. ; 24 cm


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Sep 20, 2016

Any students looking for information about firearms ownership or gun control should be forewarned about referencing this book. While this book became, for a while, very influential and often quoted, especially by proponents of gun control, his research was found to have been, for the most part, invented, and he lost his position at Emory University for academic fraud.


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