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War Stars: The Superweapon and the American Imagination
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2004
You know the feeling you get from a book that gets better and more interesting as you read it. This is one of those books. He is a very good writer. I listened to a Chomsky talk/interview who recommended the book. I thought SciFi was crap. But he showed it to be a kind of wonderful window of our thoughts, fears and hopes for the far or not so far future. Example after example of superweapons from 1798 - 1980's that were touted as the final weapon that would make war obsolete are exposed as fantasy. Now we face weapons that if used will make us obsolete.
I must read......
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2013
The Oxford University Press edition, which became quite a classic with rave reviews from the New York Times, Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, Noam Chomsky, etc., was published back in 1988, just prior to the official end of the Cold War in 1991. This expanded and updated edition is far more valuable today because it takes the story through the war that, not coincidentally, began in 1991 with the invasion of Iraq. Here the WMDs that were not found in Iraq give quite new meanings to "The Superweapon and the American Imagination," and the book now gives an amazing history of its subject from the 18th century into the 21st. It is no doubt Franklin's most important book, which is saying a lot.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2011
This book is not known by many but is my favorite book. It is full of sci-fi and fiction over a 200 year span and relates it to scientific, political and military decisions. It is not well known but I would recommend everyone to read this book. From Robert Fulton's submarine to end all wars to Edison's suggestions to end all wars to Oppenheimer's nuclear weapon to end all wars all the way to Reagan's War Stars project to end wars by lasers from space. The problem? We as a society think building stronger weapons will lead to an end in war. A very bad thought process active in main stream society today that has been documented phenomenally by this book. If you want something new, get this book.
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