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Clouds of Secrecy: The Army's Germ Warfare Tests Over Populated Areas Paperback – February 2, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This disturbing study, based on government records, courtroom testimony and interviews, focuses on biological-warfare testing and the U.S. Army's expanding program to develop cheaper and more effective biological weapons. Cole traces the growth of the biological arsenal during World War II, reviews the scientific literature (which questions the Army's contention that bacteria used in tests are harmless) and assesses the spraying of several American locales, including San Francisco and the New York subway system. Cole charges that the Army failed to monitor the health of the targeted population, and quotes from a 1981 trial in a case brought by a San Francisco family, one of whose members is believed to have died as a result of the 1950 test in that city. Reflecting on "the human capacity to confuse good intentions with harmful actions," the author, who teaches at Rutgers University, concludes with a discussion of the ethics of spraying unsuspecting citizens with bacteria and the need for protection against such experiments.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

An in-depth analysis of the U.S. Army's biological warfare (BW) research/testing from World War II to the present. Cole (Rutgers Univ.) details unpublicized activities at the Army's BW headquarters, the secret "test" spraying of bacteria over major American cities, and a court case on one such test. He also examines the charges of Soviet "yellow rain" and genetic engineering. His research is solidon-site visits, interviews, congressional hearings, court testimony, government documents, and scientific and scholarly literature. While this careful work is not a polemic, it raises a specter of government secrecy and deception with chilling implications. One of the best efforts on a topic long concealed from the American public. Clifton E. Wilson, Political Science Dept., Univ. of Arizona, Tucson
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; 1st edition (1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082263001X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822630012
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #945,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 16, 1997
Format: Hardcover
I have read a few books on the topic recently, and this one is short (~150 pages) and concise. Cole gives well documented examples of bio-warfare "experiments" conducted within the US on it's own populace as well as in Europe. The best part of the book documents the lawsuit of an American citizen who sued the US over the death of a family member who died from the government flu and lost becuase the court said what the feds were doing were not illegal. How nice. Need a quick reminder that the military and judicial branches of the government are not your friend? Get this book.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book contains shocking but carefully documented details about germ warfare tests conducted by the U.S. Army in the 1960s. It is an eye opener about a range of Army experiments that exposed millions of Americans to various bacteria without their knowledge. The purpose supposedly was to see how vulnerable Americans would be to a germ attack. The book is clearly written and provides riveting descriptions of many of the tests. The most amazing thing about the tests was the number of American cities and their populations that were targeted. They included New York City, San Francisco, St. Louis and hundreds of other cities and towns. The germs were not true warfare agents like anthrax, but they apparently caused several people to become sick, some perhaps fatally. In the current climate of fear about terrorism, Clouds of Secrecy provides an invaluable reminder that secret government actions intended to protect the public may themselves create risks to its safety.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Carl Mauney on February 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
An interesting book on biological weapons testing during the 1950's. Unfortunately understanding the behavior of biological weapons was and is a necessity. This book reviews a few of the 239 admitted tests. It does not provide in depth information on the individual tests such as plume spread or pattern. It does expose the use of U.S. cities as the test tubes for these experiments. Several times the author refers to alleged violations of the BWC by the former USSR. As history has proven, they were not alleged but rampant violations of the BWC. Open air testing is likely to remain a priority for biological defense. This book describes what may be happening in your own backyard.
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