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Weapon: A Visual History of Arms and Armor Paperback – April 19, 2010
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"An illustrated history of weaponry diagrams in detail." – Columbus Dispatch
"From Assyrian spears to the AK-47, weapons — and the warriors who have brandished them — forged history by shaping the rise of empires and the course of revolutions with the ax, the bow, the sword, and the gun." – Military Officer
Top Customer Reviews
The introduction establishes a series of distinct categories of weaponry: bows, arrows, and spears; axes and clubs; swords and daggers; staff weapons; firearms; and armor and helmets (I am fascinated by the decision to put projectile weapons before clubs, as if there was a reasoned decision that the first weapon was something thrown rather than, as the opening of "2001: A Space Odyssey" so memorably suggests, something used as a club). The development of each category is briefly laid out. For example, Firearms begin with matchlocks and flintlocks before moving to percussion caps, revolvers, brass cartridges, repeater firearms, self-loading firearms, and machine guns. Consequently, the introduction provides both the basic definitions and the basic histories of the various types of weaponry.
The rest of the book is divided into five chronological sections: The Ancient World, The Middle Ages, The Early Modern World, The Revolutionary World, and the Modern World.Read more ›
The pictures are great and really give you an idea of size and weight. And speaking of weight, most weapons have weights listed.
Great book, highly recommended!
Here are the problems I have with this book:
1) With a few exceptions, the artefacts shown in the book do not have any direct references as to where they come from, making it difficult or impossible to double check anything. There are indirect references on the last page, where photo credits are given, but that is not always specific enough to help. Why is this important? Well...
2) I question the accuracy of some of the measurements that are given. For example, on pg. 65 the "Double-Edged Sword" is given as having a weight of 4 lbs, which is awfully heavy for a real sword of the period. The length also seems short at 32" (unless that refers to just the blade, but I don't believe such is specified anywhere). It'd be nice to know where the original is kept or elsewhere published to double check things.
3)While most of the info seems good, some of it is very wrong. I'm thinking mostly of pp. 48-49 regarding the Bronze and Iron Age warriors. For example, they assign the bronze sword on the bottom to the Celts, but this pre-dates the La Tene period by at least five centuries. No actual La Tene swords are even shown! The battle axe on pg 49 (upper left) is actually a Viking broad axe from the 10th - 11th Cent A.D., and certainly not Iron, let alone Bronze Age. The only Celtic artefacts are the helmet, the two daggers, and the Battersea shield (and even these are, technically, Insular rather than truly Celtic). Really, this should be two separate sections, one on Bronze Age and one on Iron Age Celts.Read more ›
Oh, for those who are also considering "Knives and Swords" (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/075665646X/ref=oh_o03_s01_i02_details), you should be forewarned that they are in many ways the same book. I purchased both, not realizing that they were from the same publisher. Knives & Swords has nothing that isn't in this book (so far as I can tell) but is a slightly sturdier, more coffee-table type binding. Of course, Knives & Swords does not the missile weapons from this book - including guns. I would recommend buying this book of the two.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is almost a photographic encyclopedia of arms and armor. The pictures are beautiful and there are a very large number of them. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Theodore F. Schaaf
Bought as a gift. The giftee is pleased with the book. Good purchase for those interested in weapons.Published 6 months ago by Jordancc
Very nice book. I love the addition of armor and the wide variety of weapons. This was a great gift for our 6 year old who loves weaponry of all kinds. Read morePublished 7 months ago by habblie
Oh what a fun book for a mom of boys!! They love looking at the book and reading about all the weapons! Love how they crammed it all into one book!Published 11 months ago by Momof3boys
This was a gift for my wonderful boyfriend, army veteran, he loved it!Published 12 months ago by Graciela
Arrived in excellent condition. This was a gift for my grandson. He loved it. And it arrived timely too.Published 12 months ago by Kathryn Carter