Chris Kyle was the top sniper in U.S. Military history, having served for combat tours in Iraq, earning a chest full of military hours for his bravery in battle. His sacrifice and dedication to the United States of America is unmatched by anything with the exception of his love for family. Running a close second would be his knowledge of the tools he used to ply his trade; it is with that background combined with his desire to tell the true story of the impact of firearms on our nation’s history, that he set out to tell the story of American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms.
With the same pride that he brought to his craft as a sniper, Kyle paints a in depth portrait detailing not only the history of the ten weapons and their development, evolution and implementation, but the impact that they had on this nations in varying points in our history and in many cases are still having to this day.
I hesitate to say that Kyle has a love of guns, because knucklehead gun controller types will try to portray him as some sort of gun-loving nutcase, but the truth is Kyle brought a healthy respect for and an incredible knowledge of these weapons combined with a desire to teach others about the safe use of them. He doesn’t glorify weapons, merely places them in their proper and impactful place in our history. The information he imparts will make any who try to ignore or warp the impact of firearms on history come off as laughable at best.
There is a “been there, fired that” quality to many of the ten varying firearms detailed in the book. That experience brings a level of trust to the statements Kyle makes about each of these weapons. He doesn’t attempt to paint a glorified picture of each weapon, noting the negatives of the weapons where appropriate as they went through the various stages of design and development.
While guns certainly are the focal point and the perspective from which this book is directed, it is much more than simply another book about guns; it is as much a book for history buffs, placing each of the weapons in their rightful place in our history.