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How to Build a Nuclear Bomb: And Other Weapons of Mass Destruction (Nation Books) Paperback – March 17, 2004


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How to Build a Nuclear Bomb: And Other Weapons of Mass Destruction (Nation Books) + Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Threats + The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: An Enduring Debate (Third Edition)
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Product Details

  • Series: Nation Books
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books (March 17, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560256036
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560256038
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #535,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A straightforward and unhysterical guide to some of the more hair-raising nuclear, chemical and biological threats that have dominated the post-11 September world."

About the Author

Frank Barnaby is a nuclear physicist by training. He worked at the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, Aldermaston and was Director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) from 1971 to 1981. He currently works for the Oxford Research Group on research into military technology, nuclear energy, and the terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This book is an excellent primer on WMD's and I highly recommend it.
Swubird
I have read quite a lot on this subject so I almost did not buy it because I thought from a quickscan that I knew almost all this stuff and it would be too simple.
BernardZ
Overall, it was an informative but scatterbrained and, in my opinion, a useless book he wrote over the weekend to get some extra cash.
Seanremruht

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Dimitrios on August 22, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A reference book which does not delve into the exhausting details of the WMD technology but presents in a clear and easy to read text all the essential information. Of course the title is somehow misleading, as the book is not a manual for nuclear bomb producers. The strong point of the book is that it is not necessary for someone to have a PhD in Physics, Bilogy or Chemistry in order to understand the working principles of WMD.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought at only 256 pages this book would be a quick read. Instead, it has about 40-50 pages of interesting information followed by either total repetition of previous information or extremely simplistic musings. (I hate not finishing a book, but this one was like reading a incoherant text book,
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By BernardZ on March 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have read quite a lot on this subject so I almost did not buy it because I thought from a quickscan that I knew almost all this stuff and it would be too simple.
However I certainly learnt much from it. If you are looking for a good book to state the current world situation this book will do the trick in a quite readable form.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Swubird on January 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The possibility of home-made WMD's is front page news nowadays. But if you happen to notice your neighbor reading How to Build a Nuclear Bomb: And Other Weapons of Mass Destruction (Nation Books), by Frank Barnaby, don't panic. Building WMD's is a lot easier said than done.

Building an A-bomb requires a bunch of money, specialized scientists, technicians, uranium, a uranium enrichment facility, and a big, big room to assemble the thing. Can you build one from spare parts? Maybe. But A-bombs aren't like bikinis - you can't mix and match the precision parts. What about buying an A-bomb on the black market? Okay. But remember, most countries can't afford nuclear programs. Neither can individuals.

Chemical weapons are a little bit cheaper than A-bombs. However, you still need a specialized chemists, a production facility, and a stockpile of exotic chemicals. And even if you do concoct a little poison gas, it's a tricky business deploying the stuff without killing yourself in the process. The problem is that when gas is released into the air, it typically goes where it goes - not where you want it to go. Anybody who has ever sat around a campfire knows that. Wherever you're sitting, that's where the smoke goes,right? And if that smoke is poison gas, Hasta la vista baby!

Biological weapons are probably the cheapest of the three. But, again, you 'll need specialized equipment and a suitable laboratory. Additionally, you have to know something about microbiology. Yikes! Then you have to decide what germ you want to weaponize and who'll sell it to you. Plague? Ebola? Anthrax? Smallpox? They're all horrific killers, but they're hard to acquire.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By NadaNOC on January 4, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the hands of a terrorist I believe this book is more a threat to the world as a fire hazard (when lit and thrown) than "How to build a nuclear bomb" as it is advertised. Significant disparities and holes exist in the presentation, and many questions are left unanswered.
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By clayton on May 30, 2014
Format: Paperback
Com'on man.... I needed to actually know how to build one of these things. Already bought the ore from amazon. I don't want that $40 to go to waste.

Dear CIA,

I need this for civilian purposes. I promise.
Will the US trade embargo stop them from shipping this to Iran?
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