From Publishers Weekly
Having published a similarly squared-away study of the 1979 anthrax outbreak in Sverdlovsk, Russia, in 1999, MIT security studies fellow Guillemin returns with a compact and balanced history of biological weaponry, beginning with the British, American and Japanese programs that predate WWII. British and American programs continued through much of the Cold War; seeking strategic effectiveness but succeeding only indifferently, they were phased out. But the Soviet programs flourished and, when abolished in the 1990s, they left behind much of the resources in expertise and in some cases actual stockpiles now available to terrorists. Not that bioterrorism is necessarily the menace that media sensationalism makes it out to be, provided that responsible decisions influenced by common sense are made to prepare for it. Guillemin outlines such common sense programs in valuable detail, although she appears to underestimate the extent to which some of them will require international controls over basic scientific research and
the amount of resistance this could meet from governments and scientists. Admirably free of finger-pointing, shrillness and Luddite tendencies, the book ranks high as a historical introduction to the subject and a handbook on contemporary remedies; in the latter role, it is superior to Daniel Barenblatt's A Plague Upon Humanity
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This sane and sensible book ends by arguing for a more balanced approach.
(Malcolm Dando Nature
The book ranks high as a historical introduction to the subject and a handbook on contemporary remedies.
Guillemin's account of biological weapons is lucid and concise, providing an excellent guide through the evidence on the past and issues for the future.
(Lawrence D. Freedman Foreign Affairs
Jeanne Guillemin presents a cogent history of biological warfare and its horrific implications
(Karl Helicher ForeWord
Guillemin's book is an extremely valuable and insightful work on a topic of significant national and international concern.
(Thomas May Journal of the American Medical Association
The scholarship and the clarity of the writing are remarkable...deserves to be read widely
(Karl M. Johnson, M.D. New England Journal of Medicine
A clear, well-written general survey... it eschews the sensationalism and fear mongering which surrounds much of the current literature.
(John Ellis van Courtland Moon Journal of Military History
(Alan D B Malcolm Biologist
There is no better source for an overview of the history of biological weapons research.
(Susan Lindee Bulletin of the History of Medicine