Book Review "The Gun" by CJ Chivers

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Combat Controller
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Book Review "The Gun" by CJ Chivers

Postby Combat Controller » Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:47 am

I picked up the book recently and sat down to read it.

I must say it is worth taking the time to peruse. He only spend about 1/3 of the time talking about the AK-47, which the book is ostensibly about. He talks about small arms and the the history of the machine gun, starting with Maxim. I find his point of view very interesting esp as he takes excruciating pains to be neutral about small arms and their development despite the bias you see leak through in very few instances.

As gun nuts we have our views and culture but seeing the specific history of one and some general history (as well as the most complete on the AR-15/M-16 development and problems I have seen to date) of not only how it was conceived to how it was made to the political decision surrounding them to the stockpiling and then the impact on societies.

There is no doubt that the assault rifle and machine guns in general have had a profound impact on warfare and culture both. The authors views and perspective are fascinating and he is a very good writer and engages the reader. I do recommend reading a chapter at a time though as there is a lot of info and the author is a journalist and tends to write in shorter bursts on each topic or theme.

I found it very worthwhile to buy and read and highly recommend it, especially as it has lots of sourced and annotated information. I suspect it will become the reference to settle some future internet disputes within it's scope.

I'd love to discuss the books conclusions with you folks who have or will read it.
Winner of the prestigious Автомат Калашникова образца 1947 года award for excellence in rural travel.

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Denis
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Re: Book Review "The Gun" by CJ Chivers

Postby Denis » Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:44 am

Thanks! Haven't read that yet, but it sounds worth putting on the "tbr" pile. I just bought a Kindle, so the pile is getting deeper electronically (and exponentially) at the moment.

I'm glad you didn't run into "AK47, the people's gun" by Michael Hodges. It started off well (with a bio of General Kalashnikov), but degenerated into a hoplophobe rant about scary assault rifles. Don't waste your time or money on that one.

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Re: Book Review "The Gun" by CJ Chivers

Postby Combat Controller » Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:40 am

Thanks, I saw it and almost got it. I will pass.
Winner of the prestigious Автомат Калашникова образца 1947 года award for excellence in rural travel.

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Re: Book Review "The Gun" by CJ Chivers

Postby FelixEstrella » Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:26 pm

Thanks for the recommendation. You're the second person in a week who mentioned that title, so it's off to Amazon I go.
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Re: Book Review "The Gun" by CJ Chivers

Postby doc Russia » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:34 am

I am reading that book right now per CC's recs.
So far, I find it fascinating.
...and infuriating right now since I am reading the parts about how the M16 came into being, and it is making my blood boil.
Almost half way through, and it is a great book.
"That which does not transmit light creates its own darkness"
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"May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one."
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