The Gatling gun, was the start of a revolution in warfare where it became a ‘force mulitiplier’ to use a modern military term. The fire power available to a small team was revolutionary, and this book talks about the period, the inventor, and some historical perspectives.
The author goes into the American patent system and patent office and it’s 19th century rise in power. At the end, it’s a pretty good social history of America at that period, and how it shaped Mr Gatling and his weapon. Which in turn shaped the expansion of the United States. However, what it doesn’t talk about is anything technical related to the invention. Nor it’s military effectiveness per se, or how it achieved its results. So in that sense, the book is incomplete – and hence the ‘ok’ rating. If you are looking for a purely technical discussion of the Gatling gun and am only interested in the purely military aspect of it, then skip this book – otherwise it is still a worth while read.