Gunpowder: Alchemy, Bombards, And Pyrotechnics: The History Of The Explosive That Changed The World

Kelly, Jack

Published by Basic Books, 2004
ISBN 10: 0465037186 / ISBN 13: 9780465037186
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Synopsis: When Chinese alchemists fashioned the first manmade explosion sometime during the tenth century, no one could have foreseen its full revolutionary potential. Invented to frighten evil spirits rather than fuel guns or bombs-neither of which had been thought of yet-their simple mixture of saltpeter, sulfur, and charcoal went on to make the modern world possible. As word of its explosive properties spread from Asia to Europe, from pyrotechnics to battleships, it paved the way for Western exploration, hastened the end of feudalism and the rise of the nation state, and greased the wheels of the Industrial Revolution.With dramatic immediacy, novelist and journalist Jack Kelly conveys both the distant time in which the "devil's distillate" rose to conquer the world, and brings to rousing life the eclectic cast of characters who played a role in its epic story, including Michelangelo, Edward III, Vasco da Gama, Cortez, Guy Fawkes, Alfred Nobel, and E.I. DuPont. A must-read for history fans and military buffs alike, Gunpowder brings together a rich terrain of cultures and technological innovations with authoritative research and swashbuckling style.

About the Author: Jack Kelly is both an accomplished novelist and an experienced author of popular history. He writes regularly for American Heritage, and has also written features about the DuPont family's involvement in the gunpowder industry and the history of fireworks in America. He lives in Milan, New York.

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Title: Gunpowder: Alchemy, Bombards, And ...
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication Date: 2004
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Like New
Edition: 1st Edition.

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Book Description Basic Books, New York, 2004. Hard Cover. Book Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: DJ Near Fine. 1st Printing. From Booklist: This story-filled chronicle of gunpowder extends from its invention in China about a millennium ago to its last use in battle during the American Civil War. Kelly covers the main points about the explosive -- what it's made of, how it's made, who made it, and the evolution of gunpowder-powered weapons. They spelled the end of the walled city and the mounted knight, which Kelly illustrates through the 1453 Ottoman conquest of Constantinople and the 1346 Battle of Crecy. 261pp. Size: Large Octavo. Remainder mark on bottom edge. Bookseller Inventory # 01092112

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