Melancholy Accidents

Melancholy Accidents

Three Centuries of Stray Bullets and Bad Luck

Book - 2016
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Random House, Inc.
Did you know that fatal gun mishaps have been so common in America that for centuries, newspapers carried regular columns reporting on “melancholy accidents”?

It came as a surprising discovery when, while conducting research that involved reading colonial-era newspapers, acclaimed writer Peter Manseau stumbled upon one report after another of “melancholy accidents”—instances of local people accidentally discharging firearms to disastrous results.

Usually, they were brief items, with the concision of dark poetry—hunting accidents, neighbor shooting neighbor, father shooting son. Dark as they were, they were also often bizarre and fascinating—such as the case of one farmer who, trying out his new musket, shot it at his barn, hitting a door hinge that split the musket ball in two, with each half ricochetting off to hit a different, distant person, each of whom was a doctor.

In Melancholy Accidents, Manseau collects and annotates a wide-ranging assortment of these woebegone and oddly intimate reports, with numerous illustrations, photos, and visuals from original period newspapers. It makes for a wholly unique contribution to the ongoing consideration of—and the recent heated discussion about—the historic place of firearms in American society.

Baker & Taylor
Collects three hundred years' worth of newspaper accounts of gun accidents in the United States, exploring America's long, complicated, bloody relationship with firearms.

Publisher: Brooklyn : Melville House, 2016
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781612195063
1612195067
Branch Call Number: 363.33 M317m
Characteristics: xxxiii, 201 pages : illustrations ; 19 cm

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