A Cultural History of Firearms in the Age of Empire

TitleA Cultural History of Firearms in the Age of Empire
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2013
Series EditorJones, Karen R., Giacomo Macola, and David Welch
Number of Pages330
CityFarnham, UK

Firearms have been studied by imperial historians mainly as means of human destruction and material production. Yet, as suggested by constructivist approaches to the history of technology, firearms have always been invested with a whole array of additional social meanings. By placing these latter at the centre of analysis, the essays presented in Guns and Identity extend the study of guns beyond the confines of military history and the examination of their impact on specific colonial encounters. By bringing cultural perspectives to bear on the subject, the contributors explore the densely interwoven relationships between firearms and broad processes of social change. In so doing, they contribute to a fuller understanding of some of the most significant consequences of British and American imperial expansion. Not the least original feature of the book is its global frame of reference. By bringing together historians of different periods and regions, Guns and Identity overcomes traditional compartmentalisations of historical knowledge and encourages the drawing of novel and illuminating comparisons across time and space. [publisher]

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