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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
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
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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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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. This could be fixed by revising the small arms section to include rifles, pistols, and machine guns developed in the past ten years, rather than throwing recent developments in the a pile at the end. The practice of merely lumping new material in the sections at the end of the book also defeats the purpose of a reference organized by function rather than time period, detracting from what makes this work most useful and interesting.
For what it is, a survey of tools of violence, "Weapons" is without equal. The organization makes it very accessible and easy to use, despite the editorial decisions in this third edition. Throughout, the authors write in such a was as to educate without a condesending or arrogant tone. I still can't recommend it highly enough.
E.M. Van Court
Most recent customer reviews
For basic learning, it's very good.
I love this book.
it is like cut words connected together not well arranged or written. thus,, save your money!