Jim Rasenberger is the author of four books--Revolver; The Brilliant Disaster; America, 1908; and High Steel--and has contributed to the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Smithsonian, and other publications. A native of Washington, DC, he lives in New York City.
The legendary Colt revolver played an outsized role in the violent conquest of the American West, and it lives on in the national psyche. But the remarkable story of its creator, Samuel Colt, one of the wealthiest and most influential figures of the nineteenth century United States, has been all but lost to history. Author Jim Rasenberger masterfully restores Sam Colt to his rightful place among the titans of American industry and drivers of American destiny in this rousing and riveting biography. A hard-drinking, prodigious womanizer, Colt suborned politicians and brutalized competitors to establish his place as a visionary creator of the American gun culture. Revolver brilliantly recreates Colt's life and the tumultuous era in our nation's history that he helped shape. --Peter Cozzens, author of The Earth Is Weeping and Shenandoah 1862 The extraordinary story of an extraordinary man in an extraordinary country. Sam Colt may not have made all men equal, but Jim Rasenberger's Revolver leaves us all knowing so much more about our past. A well-researched, brilliantly written history. --Kevin Baker, author of America the Ingenious Nothing screams 'America!' like the Colt revolver--the legendary six-shooter is as closely woven into the national fabric as baseball, apple pie, and immigration. This gobsmacking true story brings to life the rollicking tale of brash and muscular Sam Colt. The 'revolver man' was filled with contradictions--just like the young republic his six-shooters came to represent. A heartfelt western hat-tip to Jim Rasenberger for bringing us the definitive tale. --Gregory Crouch, author of The Bonanza King Sam Colt, quirky entrepreneur and era-defining tycoon, is one of American history's most colorful characters. How can you not like someone who sells hits of laughing gas to the American public in order to finance his gun factories? Rasenberger captures this and other details in this comprehensive biography. --S.C. Gwynne, author of Empire of the Summer Moon and Hymns of the Republic Colt: Can there be another bearer of a name so famous whose career is so little known? Which is all the more puzzling given what an astonishing career it was. But now Jim Rasenberger puts matters to rights with his wonderfully vivid biography. Not only are we offered a story of the highest historical consequence, but one full of suspense, surprises, scurrility, and bad faith alongside heroic dedication to a nation-changing technology, tangy gossip, and an 1840s murder trial whose lurid details still have the power to shock. Revolver is every bit as entertaining as it is valuable. --Richard Snow, author of Disney's Land and Iron Dawn This rollicking and informative account will delight American history buffs. --Publishers Weekly