The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

Reading Cheap Revolvers and Democracy in America

I received a copy a week or so back of Suicide Specials (1958) by Donald Webster Jr. and found it to be an outstanding reference to small, inexpensive American pistols of the middle and late Victorian Era, with an exhaustive categorical system of defining of models.  No thug, shopkeeper, commercial traveler, doxie, footpad, gambler or tramp should be without one and they cost around a dollar, plus postage.  BTW, the name refers to the quality of the firearms:  suicidal to shoot.


Having finished that, I am now embarking on a long slow read that will consume quite a while.  Reading de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, the best single cover snapshot of 1830s America made by an incisive European.  I have read excerpts and parts, but never the whole thing, so I expect to read a few chapters a night and finish the book in a few months.  I’ll continue with my other reading, however.


On my to-do list in this vein:  The Condition of the Working Class in England 1844 – I sure hope it doesn’t suck as hard as Das Kapital; I’m pretty hep on the Revolutions of 1848 overall, I just need this to round out the readings, but don’t want to get mired in a lot of dusty catch-phrases.  Monty Python did it best in Holy Grail with the anarcho-syndicalists peasants and King Arthur …. Well hopefully I get a better grip on the Revolutions of 1848 and British Charterist movement.  Here’s mud in your eye!

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