Tommy: The Gun That Changed America (Hardcover)

The Gun That Changed America

By Karen Blumenthal

Roaring Brook Press, 9781626720848, 240pp.

Publication Date: June 30, 2015



John Taliaferro Thompson had a mission: to develop a lightweight, fast-firing weapon that would help Americans win on the battlefield. His Thompson submachine gun could deliver a hundred bullets in a matter of seconds but didn't find a market in the U.S. military. Instead, the Tommy gun became the weapon of choice for a generation of bootleggers and bank-robbing outlaws, and became a deadly American icon. Following a bloody decade and eighty years before the mass shootings of our own time Congress moved to take this weapon off the streets, igniting a national debate about gun control. Critically-acclaimed author Karen Blumenthal tells the fascinating story of this famous and deadly weapon of the lives it changed, the debate it sparked, and the unprecedented response it inspired.

About the Author

Karen Blumenthal is an award-winning children's non-fiction writer and a longtime journalist. She previously wrote about the 1920s and 1930s in Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition, a YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award finalist, and Six Days in October: The Stock Market Crash of 1929, a Sibert Honor Book. She lives in Dallas, Texas.