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Biological Weapons: From the Invention of State-Sponsored Programs to Contemporary Bioterrorism 3.12.2006 Edition

5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0231129435
ISBN-10: 0231129432
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Editorial Reviews

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

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.

(Publishers Weekly)

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 1900-01-00)

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)

Read it.

(Alan D B Malcolm Biologist 1900-01-00)

There is no better source for an overview of the history of biological weapons research.

(Susan Lindee Bulletin of the History of Medicine 1900-01-00)

See all Editorial Reviews
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; 3.12.2006 edition (April 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231129432
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231129435
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeanne Guillemin is a senior fellow in the Security Studies Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in the Center for International Studies. Her academic specialty focuses on national security issues involving infectious diseases and in particular the history of biological weapons. Her most recent book is "American Anthrax: Fear, Crime, and the Investigation of the Nation's Deadliest Bioterror Attack" (2012). In 2005 she wrote "Biological Weapons: From State-sponsored Programs to Contemporary Bioterrorism." In 1999, she chronicled her research on the 1979 Sverdlovsk outbreak in "Anthrax: The Investigation of a Deadly Outbreak."

AmericanAnthrax.com

The Massachusetts Center for the Book has listed American Anthrax as a "Must-Read" book for 2012!

http://massbook.org/MassBooks12/booknews2012_optimizedv2.pdf

Read Dr. Guillemin's May 24 2012 letter to the Boston Globe, "A vital institution, Postal Service should be valued."

Read it here: http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/letters/2012/05/23/vital-institution-postal-service-should-valued/2D8SRX7D7pXQYasO9ZEhpK/story.html

Watch Dr. Guillemin talk about the 2001 Anthrax Attacks at The Library of Congress at the following link.

http://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=5498

Listen to the author in her September 2011 interview with Ireland's Newstalk radio. Click on the link, scroll down, and click on the "Monday September 5: Anthrax and Attractiveness" link.

http://media.newstalk.ie/podcast/56284/?uniqueID=539625

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A VFF on October 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A concise history of the development of biological weapons.

Coming in as a somewhat short read at 200 pages, I'd recommend this as a primer for anyone who'd like an introduction to the subject.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Samm on April 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to read this book for a class on Biopolitics.. But i loved reading every page of this book!!
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Format: Paperback
Lots of policies and history. If you really want to learn about BT related diseases try looking for books by Ryan or Gerstein.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on May 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Biological weapons and their potentials has received public attention relatively recently in this country, and for a basic primer on the topic, don't miss Jeanne Guillemin's Biological Weapons, designed to help readers understand the relevance of these weapons and their use. Chapters examine policies of use, deterrence, and proliferation, considering conflicts between media rights and secrecy in development, public awareness issues and rights, and preventative measures against attack.
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Leland C. Mceuen on June 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book was a good review of the politics of Biological weapons control. The theme was that biological weapons can be controlled by agreements. However the book relates many examples of how international controls did not work, so it defeats its own premise. i did not find this book helpful for a scientific or political background on the issues.
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