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Download Mr. Gatling’s Terrible Marvel: The Gun That Changed Everything and the Misunderstood Genius Who Invented It Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Mr. Gatling’s Terrible Marvel: The Gun That Changed Everything and the Misunderstood Genius Who Invented It Audiobook, by Julia Keller Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (96 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Julia Keller Narrator: Norman Dietz Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2008 ISBN: 9781400176441
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Soon after its debut at the time of the Civil War, the Gatling gun changed the nature of warfare and the course of world history. Discharging two hundred shots per minute with alarming accuracy, the world’s first machine gun became vitally important to protecting and expanding America’s overseas interests. Its inventor, Richard Gatling, was famous in his own time for creating and improving many industrial designs, from bicycles and steamship propellers to flush toilets, though it was the gun design that would make his name immortal. A man of great business and scientific acumen, Gating used all the resources of the new mass age to promote sales across America and around the world.

Ironically, Gatling actually proposed his gun as a way of saving lives, thinking it would decrease the size of armies and, therefore, make it easier to supply soldiers and reduce malnutrition deaths. The scientists who unleashed America’s atomic arsenal less than a century later would see it much the same way.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A celebrity in the 19th century, Gatling was soon reviled for his terrible marvel and then consigned to obscurity. Keller rescues Gatling and anchors his remarkable life firmly in the landscape of 19th-century America: a time and place of egalitarian hope and infinite possibility.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The author presents as a genius, a man of decency, vision, and ambition who held dozens of patents for a variety of life—enhancing gadgets, including plows, bicycles, flush toilets, and dry-cleaning machines.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeannie | 1/14/2014

    " Somewhat educational about the realities of arms creation and the thoughts behind them. The author does have a bias - at least a little bit - and at times that got to me, but I managed to read on through. I love anything about the cultural or social history of something, guns included. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rick | 1/7/2014

    " I almost put this book aside. I found it very repetitive, returning to the same ideas again and again and presenting it as if it were new. And it seemed like the book spent relatively little time actually talking about Gatling and the gun. I'd pass on this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Edward M. | 7/17/2013

    " A strange book. It seems to say a lot, yet tell me little about Gatling and his inventions. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bill | 6/30/2013

    " This book is more of a cultural studies about the times in which Gatling invented his gun than it is a biography about the man. Sometimes, I felt, it was a little overwrought, but I liked it nonetheless. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rich | 6/23/2013

    " A bit too much like a text book--can't be classified as pleasure reading. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Eliezer | 6/11/2013

    " Started off good then got too caught up in its own analogy of patents as the American dream. I was hopping for a little more historical context and less historical analogy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gsmalz | 3/22/2013

    " Annoying writing style was distracting. This book really could have been a magazine article. There is too much padding of the story. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jason Tenenbown | 10/7/2012

    " One of the greatest disappointments of my year. How could a book about a crazed inventor and his quick-fire killing machine go so wrong. The beautiful cover is the best part of the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe | 5/23/2012

    " I would have liked it better if it had stayed on subject. It is more of a breathless and breezy review of 19th Century American culture centered on Richard Gatling than a book just on Richard Gatling. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jim | 2/28/2012

    " a Christmas card to capitalism. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 6/25/2011

    " Good historical reference about this period in history and it does give you pause for thought on the implications inventions like the automatic weapon play in our own destruction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Clay Davis | 3/10/2011

    " A very well researched book about this machine gun and its inventer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gsmalz | 1/9/2011

    " Annoying writing style was distracting. This book really could have been a magazine article. There is too much padding of the story. "

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About the Author
Author Julia Keller

Julia Keller was born and raised in West Virginia, and now lives in Ohio. In her career as a journalist, she won the Pulitzer Prize for a three-part series she wrote for the Chicago Tribune about a small town in Illinois rocked by a deadly tornado. A Killing in the Hills was her first mystery.

About the Narrator

Norman Dietz is a writer, voice-over artist, and audiobook narrator. He has won six Earphones Awards and was named one of the fifty “Best Voices of the Century” by AudioFile magazine. He and his late wife Sandra transformed an abandoned ice-cream parlor into a playhouse, which served “the world’s best hot fudge sundaes” before and after performances. The founder of Theatre in the Works, he lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.