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Empire of Guns by Priya Satia
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Empire of Guns

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Empire of Guns by Priya Satia
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Apr 10, 2018 | ISBN 9780525530114 | 1073 Minutes

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*Finalist for the 2018 LA Times Book Prize in History *Winner of the PCCBS Book Prize 2018 *Shortlisted for the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize 2019 *Winner of the 2019 AHA Jerry Bentley Prize *Winner of the 2019 Wadsworth Prize for Business History *Shortlisted for the 2021 Laura Shannon Prize in Contemporary European Studies

“Brilliant.” —Pratap Bhanu Mehta, The Indian Express

“Priya Satia’s books are helping us reexamine the discipline of History. . . . The sharpness of her focus on the Galtons, and the astounding extent of their circle’s influence on British financial, scientific, and intellectual life, enables her to present the argument with exceptional force and clarity. . . . Built into the foundations of History, and indeed, many other disciplines in the Humanities, is the repression of some of the most important questions about human existence on this planet. . . . Satia’s fearlessness in tackling big questions, even to the point of indicting the very discipline that has raised her to a position of not-inconsiderable eminence, suggests that she might well be the historian who could summon the courage to plunge into this chasm.” —Amitav Ghosh, Scroll

“Satia’s detailed retelling of the Industrial Revolution and Britain’s relentless empire expansion notably contradicts simple free market narratives. . . . She argues convincingly that the expansion of the armaments industry and the government’s role in it is inseparable from the rise of innumerable associated industries from finance to mining. . . . Fascinating.” —The New York Times
“A fascinating study of the centrality of militarism in 18th-century British life, and how imperial expansion and arms went hand in hand . . . This book is a triumph.” —Guardian

“Satia marshals an overwhelming amount of evidence to show, comprehensively, that guns had a place at the center of every conventional tale historians have so far told about the origins of the modern, industrialized world. . . . Spanning four continents and three centuries, tackling the fundamental nature of industrialization and capitalism, Empire of Guns belongs to the last decade’s resurgence in so-called ‘big history’. . . . Though not presented as a political book, the implications of Satia’s work are difficult to ignore. . . . This book leaves us with the disquieting notion that guns—whether the slow and inaccurate weapons of the eighteenth century or today’s models—do more than alternately cloak or explore human inclination towards violence. They also shape it—not just at the individual level, as we are accustomed to debating, but at the societal, even civilizational or global, level as well. ‘As we make objects, they make us.’” —The New Republic

“Sweeping and stimulating. . . . An extensively researched and carefully crafted narrative. . . . This important book helps us to look at British and United States history in an unconventional way and makes for great reading.” —BookPage

“A solid contribution to the history of technology and commerce, with broad implications for the present.” —Kirkus

“A fascinating and important glimpse into how violence fueled the industrial revolution, Priya Satia’s book stuns with deep scholarship and sparkling prose.” —Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies
Empire of Guns is a richly researched and probing historical narrative that challenges our understanding of the engines that drove Britain’s industrial revolution. With this book, Priya Satia introduces Samuel Galton and the economies of guns and war into the historical equation and, with it, affirms her place as a deeply captivating and thought-provoking historian.” —Caroline Elkins, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Imperial Reckoning

Empire of Guns is an important revisionist account of the industrial revolution, reminding us that the making of the modern state and the making of modern capitalism were tightly intertwined. A revelatory book.” —Sven Beckert, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Empire of Cotton

Empire of Guns boldly uncovers a history of modern violence and its central role in political, economic, and technological progress. As unsettling as it is bracing, it radically deepens our understanding of the ‘iron cage’ of modernity.” —Pankaj Mishra, author of Age of Anger

“A strong narrative bolstered by excellent archival research. . . . Tremendous scholarship. . . . Satia’s detailed and fresh look at the Industrial Revolution has appeal and relevance grounded in and reaching beyond history and social science to illuminate the complexity of present-day gun-control debates.” —Booklist

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