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The New Weapons of the World Encyclopedia: An International Encyclopedia from 5000 B.C. to the 21st Century Paperback – August 21, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Diagram Group are the successful publishers of many illustrated encyclopedias, including Rules of the Game published by St. Martin's Press.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Third Edition edition (August 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312368321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312368326
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. M. Van Court VINE VOICE on May 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the third edition of "Weapons" from the Diagram Group. Taken on its own it is very good; a rare, possibly unique work among references on arms; it is organized by function rather than era, region, or alphabetically. Accordingly, you'll see a current police baton on the same page as a several thousand year old club. The functions begin with arming the hand (a rock, for example) and proceeds (more or less) by complexity, ending with aircraft, missiles, nukes, etc.

Without a doubt, there are better works on weapons of an individual era, or specific classes of weapons, but there is no better survey or overview of weapons. The omissions that I noticed were extremely rare (and dead-end) technologies that even soi-disant experts might be ignorant of. True, not every rifle ever manufactured is mentioned, but every major operating principle is. On the other hand, it included some little-known and exotic arms that illustrated major principles, for example, the 13mm air rifle that was used by the Austrians during the Napoleonic wars. Exotic, but not included because it is exotic, included to illustrate the principles of projectile weapons that use compressed gas as propellant (rather than a chemical reaction).

But as a "third edition" it leaves much to be desired. The basic work from 1980 is reprinted in its entirety, with two blocks of content added in the two following editions. This wasn't too bad in the second edition, published in the 1990s, but in this one, it creates the appearance that Diagram Group was just coming back to a money maker without applying the same standards of production used in the first one.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Fredrik Granlund on June 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book covers the basic principles of weapons design and evolution. Some additions have been made to this edition, but you frequently stumble upon outdated descriptions, ie "this grenade is still in use with many warsaw pact countries" or "the assault rifle is expected to reach the armed forces by 1995".

For those interested in basic weapon mechanics or the evolution of weapon systems ranging from bows to Stinger missiles, this book is essential reading.
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By SkyLibrarian on October 26, 2013
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This book is obviously the best weapon(s) book encyclopedia you can get. I mean the bibliography contains well-written info on all the weapons we man have created with well-drawn diagrams from prehistoric to modern times. I recommend this to anyone whether they're a weapons enthusiast or a history buff.
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This book does cover a lot of ground, but it is very heavy on extremely early weapons and very light of the more modern ones which was a big disappointment. I guess the bigger problem is that as another reviewer noted, it is very poorly written and the layout is so bad it is beyond words.
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By Jacob on December 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book contains a wide variety of information, both historical and technical. Unlike many other books about guns and other weapons, it isn't full of false and misleading information. It has a few typos, but these don't really detract much from the book's quality. It's a great book.
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By J. on January 2, 2013
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Shipment arrived quickly. I bought this for my 18 year old son for Christmas. He loves all weapons (he calls them tools) from all ages in history and is very knowledgeable about the details. He sat and read the book cover to cover and said that it was a pretty good book.
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By tom on October 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like reading this book because I read a alot of ancient warriors to modern warriors and it talkes about the primitives weapons thru the ancient times and modern times. I t great book if you love ancient warriors or military history weapons.
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By John Heinmets on September 11, 2013
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This book breaks down complex concepts into an easy to understand format. I had several of the older edition years ago and in the time since then I have yet to find a single book with more comprehensive descriptions of the weapons inside.
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