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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Tommy: The Gun That Changed America

Young Adult Non-Fiction

VG/A  Blumenthal, Karen.  Tommy: The Gun That Changed America.  Roaring Brook, 2015.  232p.  978-1-62672-084-8.  19.99

Blumenthal brings readers back to the 1920s and 1930s that she explored in her book, Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine and the Lawless Years of Prohibition, to discuss the invention of the Thompson submachine gun and its effects on the United States war on crime and gun laws. Although the Tommy submachine gun was originally invented to be used by the military, it was more likely to be seen in the hands of criminals. Blumenthal traces the history of the gun, from inception to production to its use by gangsters such as Pretty Boy Floyd and John Dillinger and to the Department of Justice and NRA’s involvement in the creation of gun laws. It’s a fascinating look at an iconic weapon of the 20th century and how its’ invention led to debate over weapons that we still deal with today. Great resource for students interested in the time period, gun history, gangsters or gun control. Book includes many archival black & white photographs and a detailed bibliography. Loren Spector, LAPL, Memorial Branch

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