Alchemy, Bombards & Pyrotechnics

Gunpowder smallKelly interweaves intense, fast-moving anecdotes of military history with counterpoint narratives of technical developments of powder and guns and the evolution of military and social attitudes . . . brilliantly succinct and excruciatingly powerful.” -Baltimore Sun

“The pleasure of Gunpowder is the fun of learning. Gunpowder really did rearrange the world.”
-Christian Science Monitor

“Fiery prose sparks this exciting story as the author jumps through the centuries with nimble pose and a learned eye.” -Kirkus Reviews

“Kelly has a terrific eye for the instructive detail or odd historical fact that brings the narrative to life.”  -Publishers Weekly

“His ability to recreate the lifetime of a technology which reshaped the world (and to present it in a manner which will not overwhelm readers) displays his talent for making even the driest of powders ignite in the imagination.”

“In Gunpowder, Jack Kelly . . . takes the reader on a romp that makes the dusty pages of history come alive with a cast of alchemists, swashbucklers, kings, pillagers, revolutionaries, traders and saboteurs. . . . Far from making a recitation of dry facts and dates, Kelly illustrates the horrors of war and the daily lives of soldiers and commoners, and tosses interesting tidbits into the mix.”  -San Antonio Express-News

“Gunpowder is a wonderfully written history of a substance once labeled the “devil’s distillate”. . . This is a faced-paced book that is historical reporting at its very best, with surprises on almost every page. Kelly’s writing style is crisp and edgy, perfect for his subject matter.”  -Tucson Citizen

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