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Gun Guys: A Road Trip

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Here is armed America—a land of machine-gun gatherings in the desert, lederhosened German shooting societies, feral-hog hunts in Texas, and Hollywood gun armories. Whether they’re collecting antique weapons, practicing concealed carry, or firing an AR-15 or a Glock at their local range, many Americans love guns—which horrifies and fascinates many other Americans, and much of the rest of the world. This lively, sometimes raucous book explores from the inside the American love affair with firearms. 

Dan Baum is both a lifelong gun guy and a Jewish Democrat who grew up in suburban New Jersey feeling like a “child of a bitter divorce with allegiance to both parents.” In Gun Guys he grabs his licensed concealed handgun and hits the road to meet some of the 40 percent of Americans who own guns. We meet Rick Ector, a black Detroit autoworker who buys a Smith & Wesson after suffering an armed robbery—then quits his job to preach the gospel of armed self-defense, especially to the resistant black community; Jeremy and Marcey Parker, a young, successful Kentucky couple whose idea of a romantic getaway is the Blue Ridge Mountain 3-Gun Championship in Bowling Green; and Aaron Zelman, head of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. Baum also travels to New Orleans, where he enters the world of a man disabled by a bullet, and to Chicago to interview a killer. Along the way, he takes us to gun shows, gun stores, and shooting ranges trying to figure out why so many of us love these things and why they inspire such passions.

In the tradition of Confederates in the Attic and Among the Thugs, Baum brings an entire world to life. Written equally for avid shooters and those who would never touch a firearm, Gun Guys is more than a travelogue. It gives a fresh assessment of the heated politics surrounding guns, one that will challenge and inform people on all sides of the issue.  This may be the first book that goes beyond gun politics to illuminate the visceral appeal of guns—an original, perceptive, and surprisingly funny journey through American gun culture.

Review:

"To explore America's gun culture, Baum, a former staff writer for the New Yorker and author of Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans, traverses the country talking to gun owners, shooting instructors, gun advocates, gun control supporters, and even a former gang member who used a gun to kill someone. As a 'stoop-shouldered, bald-headed, middle-aged' Jewish Democrat, Baum isn't your typical gun owner, but he admits to having an 'obsession' with guns and has one on his person for much of his road trip. Crisscrossing America he finds a lot of inconsistencies, like gun owners who think the government is coming for their guns despite the fact that 'guns laws were getting looser everywhere' or gun control groups pushing for new legislation without understanding how guns work or the historical ineffectiveness of gun control. Though he tries to find diversity among the gun owners he interviews, many just spout antiliberal dogma or 'play the role of victim,' so these encounters become repetitive. It's when the tone of the book shifts from travelogue to narrative, with stories like those of Tim White, who 'used a gun in his criminal undertakings'; Rick Ector, an industrial engineer who turned gun carrier after a mugging; and Brandon Franklin, a young New Orleans man who was shot while trying to defend the mother of his children, that Baum's skill as a writer and journalist is revealed. Overall, this is a very balanced accounting of both sides of America's gun issue, and while Baum doesn't have all the answers, his solution that both sides come together to promote gun safety is both admirable and prudent. Baum can be lauded for trying to find an accommodating solution to the problem of guns, but no doubt gun lovers and gun haters both will vehemently disagree with him." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

Here is armed America—a land of machine-gun gatherings in the desert, lederhosened German shooting societies, feral-hog hunts in Texas, and Hollywood gun armories. Whether they’re collecting antique weapons, practicing concealed carry, or firing an AR-15 or a Glock at their local range, many Americans love guns—which horrifies and fascinates many other Americans, and much of the rest of the world. This lively, sometimes raucous book explores from the inside the American love affair with firearms. 

Dan Baum is both a lifelong gun guy and a Jewish Democrat who grew up in suburban New Jersey feeling like a “child of a bitter divorce with allegiance to both parents.” In Gun Guys he grabs his licensed concealed handgun and hits the road to meet some of the 40 percent of Americans who own guns. We meet Rick Ector, a black Detroit autoworker who buys a Smith & Wesson after suffering an armed robbery—then quits his job to preach the gospel of armed self-defense, especially to the resistant black community; Jeremy and Marcey Parker, a young, successful Kentucky couple whose idea of a romantic getaway is the Blue Ridge Mountain 3-Gun Championship in Bowling Green; and Aaron Zelman, head of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. Baum also travels to New Orleans, where he enters the world of a man disabled by a bullet, and to Chicago to interview a killer. Along the way, he takes us to gun shows, gun stores, and shooting ranges trying to figure out why so many of us love these things and why they inspire such passions.

In the tradition of Confederates in the Attic and Among the Thugs, Baum brings an entire world to life. Written equally for avid shooters and those who would never touch a firearm, Gun Guys is more than a travelogue. It gives a fresh assessment of the heated politics surrounding guns, one that will challenge and inform people on all sides of the issue.  This may be the first book that goes beyond gun politics to illuminate the visceral appeal of guns—an original, perceptive, and surprisingly funny journey through American gun culture.

Synopsis:

A funny, raucous, eye-opening, wholly nonpartisan trip in search of Americans who love their guns.

Dan Baum is a lifelong gun guy. He's also a Jewish Democrat who grew up in suburban New Jersey. In Gun Guys he slaps on an NRA cap, straps on a legal concealed handgun, and takes us on a guided tour of gun stores and gun shows, shooting ranges and festivals, contests and auctions, trying to figure out what draws so many of us to guns in the first place. He introduces us to people like Rick Ector, a black Detroit auto worker who buys a Smith & Wesson after suffering an armed robbery--then quits his job to preach the gospel of gun ownership and self-defense, especially to the resistant black community... Frank DeSomma, a gunmaker who moved from Brooklyn to Arizona and became obsessed with engineering a better version of the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle... Jeremy and Marcey Parker, a young, successful Kentucky couple whose idea of a romantic weekend happens to be shooting submachine guns at competition. Baum brings an entire world vividly to life; gun enthusiasts will nod and chuckle in recognition, while others will understand an America to which they've never before had access. Curious and candid, this may be the first book that illuminates both the power and the appeal of guns: a completely original and perceptive--and often hilarious--journey through armed America. 

About the Author

Dan Baum is the author of Nine Lives, Smoke and Mirrors, and Citizen Coors. He was a staff writer for The New Yorker and has written for Rolling Stone, Harper’s MagazineThe New York Times Magazine, and many other publications.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307595416
Author:
Baum, Dan
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Subject:
Men's studies
Subject:
Politics - General
Subject:
Outdoors-General
Publication Date:
20130331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9.56 x 6.56 x 1.27 in 1.54 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Culture
History and Social Science » Americana » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Mens Studies
History and Social Science » Politics » General
Sports and Outdoors » Outdoors » Firearms » General
Sports and Outdoors » Outdoors » General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Sports Writing
Travel » Travel Writing » General

Gun Guys: A Road Trip Used Hardcover
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$15.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307595416 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "To explore America's gun culture, Baum, a former staff writer for the New Yorker and author of Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans, traverses the country talking to gun owners, shooting instructors, gun advocates, gun control supporters, and even a former gang member who used a gun to kill someone. As a 'stoop-shouldered, bald-headed, middle-aged' Jewish Democrat, Baum isn't your typical gun owner, but he admits to having an 'obsession' with guns and has one on his person for much of his road trip. Crisscrossing America he finds a lot of inconsistencies, like gun owners who think the government is coming for their guns despite the fact that 'guns laws were getting looser everywhere' or gun control groups pushing for new legislation without understanding how guns work or the historical ineffectiveness of gun control. Though he tries to find diversity among the gun owners he interviews, many just spout antiliberal dogma or 'play the role of victim,' so these encounters become repetitive. It's when the tone of the book shifts from travelogue to narrative, with stories like those of Tim White, who 'used a gun in his criminal undertakings'; Rick Ector, an industrial engineer who turned gun carrier after a mugging; and Brandon Franklin, a young New Orleans man who was shot while trying to defend the mother of his children, that Baum's skill as a writer and journalist is revealed. Overall, this is a very balanced accounting of both sides of America's gun issue, and while Baum doesn't have all the answers, his solution that both sides come together to promote gun safety is both admirable and prudent. Baum can be lauded for trying to find an accommodating solution to the problem of guns, but no doubt gun lovers and gun haters both will vehemently disagree with him." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , Here is armed America—a land of machine-gun gatherings in the desert, lederhosened German shooting societies, feral-hog hunts in Texas, and Hollywood gun armories. Whether they’re collecting antique weapons, practicing concealed carry, or firing an AR-15 or a Glock at their local range, many Americans love guns—which horrifies and fascinates many other Americans, and much of the rest of the world. This lively, sometimes raucous book explores from the inside the American love affair with firearms. 

Dan Baum is both a lifelong gun guy and a Jewish Democrat who grew up in suburban New Jersey feeling like a “child of a bitter divorce with allegiance to both parents.” In Gun Guys he grabs his licensed concealed handgun and hits the road to meet some of the 40 percent of Americans who own guns. We meet Rick Ector, a black Detroit autoworker who buys a Smith & Wesson after suffering an armed robbery—then quits his job to preach the gospel of armed self-defense, especially to the resistant black community; Jeremy and Marcey Parker, a young, successful Kentucky couple whose idea of a romantic getaway is the Blue Ridge Mountain 3-Gun Championship in Bowling Green; and Aaron Zelman, head of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. Baum also travels to New Orleans, where he enters the world of a man disabled by a bullet, and to Chicago to interview a killer. Along the way, he takes us to gun shows, gun stores, and shooting ranges trying to figure out why so many of us love these things and why they inspire such passions.

In the tradition of Confederates in the Attic and Among the Thugs, Baum brings an entire world to life. Written equally for avid shooters and those who would never touch a firearm, Gun Guys is more than a travelogue. It gives a fresh assessment of the heated politics surrounding guns, one that will challenge and inform people on all sides of the issue.  This may be the first book that goes beyond gun politics to illuminate the visceral appeal of guns—an original, perceptive, and surprisingly funny journey through American gun culture.

"Synopsis" by , A funny, raucous, eye-opening, wholly nonpartisan trip in search of Americans who love their guns.

Dan Baum is a lifelong gun guy. He's also a Jewish Democrat who grew up in suburban New Jersey. In Gun Guys he slaps on an NRA cap, straps on a legal concealed handgun, and takes us on a guided tour of gun stores and gun shows, shooting ranges and festivals, contests and auctions, trying to figure out what draws so many of us to guns in the first place. He introduces us to people like Rick Ector, a black Detroit auto worker who buys a Smith & Wesson after suffering an armed robbery--then quits his job to preach the gospel of gun ownership and self-defense, especially to the resistant black community... Frank DeSomma, a gunmaker who moved from Brooklyn to Arizona and became obsessed with engineering a better version of the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle... Jeremy and Marcey Parker, a young, successful Kentucky couple whose idea of a romantic weekend happens to be shooting submachine guns at competition. Baum brings an entire world vividly to life; gun enthusiasts will nod and chuckle in recognition, while others will understand an America to which they've never before had access. Curious and candid, this may be the first book that illuminates both the power and the appeal of guns: a completely original and perceptive--and often hilarious--journey through armed America. 

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