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The Writers of Yesteryear

2316 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  William Iorg
I was browsing through a 1927 copy of E. C. Crosman's book "Small Bore Rifle Shooting" a few hours ago and couldn't help but take note of his candor. Crossman is pretty blunt is stating his opinions and doesn't hesitate to name brands or specifics. Not every rifle is perfect. Indeed, all of them come in for criticism. The basic information in his book, even 83 years later, is still valid.

Other writers of the period were pretty much in the same vein: Hatcher, Wheelen, Major Askins (Charles' father) and so on right up to O'Connor. Even so, O'Connor's final volume "The Last Book" wasn't published until after his death by his direction. It's an interesting and revealing read containing a lot of information that for obvious reasons wasn't published previously.

I contrast these old men to the majority of writers today who are likely restrained from being completely open about the guns they test and review by economic reality. Even Keith and O'Connor weren't completely free of the influence of advertisers in the magazines they wrote for. It was probably judicious for them to simply not write about a gun they found wanting. I know that the American Rifleman has a policy of not reviewing a gun or gear that fails their standards.

Does anyone else enjoy reading the books of the writers of yesteryear? To me, they're refreshing.
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There was a time in our nation's history when we did not obsess over hurting anyone's feelings, when not every kid made the team and when gun writers typically told it the way they saw it. Some of them seemed to go out of their way to be obstinate and contrary, but then again, they were expressing an opinion and unlike so many of the people writing today, they didn't soft-pedal their message or worry about stepping on a few toes. One of the reasons I hardly read a gun rag these days is that so many of the articles sound like they were written by politicians; lots of words, but nothing of any substance being said!

I have 7 books by Jack O'Connor and when I come across one I am missing, I will buy it. There are a lot of other works that I would like to own, as well and very few of them were written in the last 20 years.
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