Wednesday, June 5, 2013

American Gun: Former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle Looks At American History Through Its Firearms

Stephen Hunter, the former Washington Post film critic and author of The Third Bullet and other thrillers featuring military and police snipers, reviewed the late Chris Kyle's book American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms at USA TODAY.

Though readers will learn much about both guns and history in the late Chris Kyle's American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms, that isn't really the point or the delight of the book.

Rather, it's a celebration of Kyle's voice and life: It's like sitting down with him in some funky Texas roadhouse just off the interstate after a hot but fulfilling day at the range, ordering up a tableful of Lone Stars and just talking guns for a few hours. What a treat that would have been and how fortunate are the few who enjoyed it.

Kyle, of course, was the Navy SEAL with four combat deployments in the war on terror who was credited as America's highest-scoring sniper. He became a national figure with the publication of his best seller American Sniper but died tragically in February when another veteran, evidently suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, suddenly shot him down at a shooting range.

American Gun is his second book, written with the assistance of William Doyle, and said by his wife in an afterword to have been a labor of love for the young Texan. What it may lack in rigor — it seems to be based not on original research but merely secondary sources — it certainly repays in friendliness, even avuncularity, as it takes readers on an amble through firearms history, particularly as it intersects with what most academics would call "real history." 

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:

You can also read my Washington Times review of Stephen Hunter's The Third Bullet via the below link:

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