In this geographically and temporally wide-ranging account, George Washington University professor David Silverman, well known to readers of this journal for numerous important works on Native New England history, exposes the transformative impact of gun technology on Native lives and history. Though not the first scholar to write about the general impact of the gun trade on Indian lives in colonial and early America, Silverman masterfully combines the work of other scholars with a fresh look at the documentary sources to reveal uncomfortable realities of early American life and to revise our understandings of certain key events.

With the publication of this book, no longer will anyone doubt the centrality of the trade in guns in North America from the time of earliest colonial contact through the nineteenth century. Native people needed guns to more effectively acquire the animal furs and human...

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