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Deadly Business: Sam Cummings, Interarms, and the Arms Trade Hardcover – October 1, 1983


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc; 1st edition (October 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393017664
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393017663
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,403,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laurence Daley on April 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The men with the golden guns

Brogan, Patrick and Albert Zarca 1983 Deadly Business: Sam Cummings, Interarms, and the Arms Trade. W W Norton & Co, New York ISBN-10 0393017664

This book is most useful for studies of weaponry involved in Cuban history. For instance pp. 89-92 describe the weaponry (they used the AR-10) of the failed invasion of the Dominican Republic in which Castro rid himself of remains of Camilo Cienfuego's loyalists, and the only survivor was Arnaldo Ochoa. Ochoa as many will recall became the senior Cuban General in Africa, and was later executed by Castro. While none of these persons are mentioned, those who follow Cuban history will find them easy to identify from these pages.

Some quibbles are found. For example details on Cuban history are fuzzy for instance on page 86 the authors state that Castro's insurgency in the Sierra Maestra lasted five years, this is only technically correct if Castro's 1953 escape from his attack on the Moncada Barracks is included. On the other hand, the authors' support of the lack of involvement in arms shipments from Venezuela to Castro during the insurgency (p. 92) is apparently correct in light of present public knowledge. I feel that the authors somewhat over-emphasized the real lack of reliability of the M-16 in the early years of its use in Vietnam (pp. 206-207) and presented little mention of the correction of the problem.

I did not find direct confirmation of the legendary golden guns which are said to have been gifted by Sam Cummings to Batista, Castro, Trujillo; however, page 357 does mention gifts and souvenirs. One notes with amusement Cummings insights into the psyche of dictators illustrated by the Freudian undertones of such gifts.
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Format: Hardcover
The real value of the book is its statement on post WWII militaria, and what happened and was done with it. There have been disparaging reviews on this book other places online, but they totally miss the point of it. The main interest in the book is for collectors and historians of historical firearms which gives a overview of the state of world affairs of the nations involved after WWII leading into the future decades. A view that many fail to realize existed. Countries slowly cleaned up WWII battlefields and arms caches of weapons stored where-ever space could be found, which lasted years. Nations turned these items into cash reserves to assist their efforts to rebuild their devastated infrastructure and economies. And Sam Cummings realized the financial potential and built his Empire. While it does give an adequate account of the arms trade business during the 50's & 60's and onward, this book is more focused on trying to create a negative impact of the arms trade through him.
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By Best Seller on July 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very interesting and true book about international arms dealing. I highly recommend it to all interested in the 1950's--1980's arms trade.
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By Troynm on July 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a follower of WWI and WWII firearms from other countries I've been curious as to how the importation business works as well as the arms industry in general. As Sam Cummings owned probably the biggest firm in this industry a book about his company is a must read. I enjoyed every page.
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