- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (July 28, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316323357
- ISBN-13: 978-0316323352
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,296,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Unmanned: Drones, Data, and the Illusion of Perfect Warfare Hardcover – July 28, 2015
$0.98 extra savings coupon applied at checkout.
Sorry. You are not eligible for this coupon.
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
"Arkin has done exemplary research, mastering a vast technical and specialized literature. And the questions he grapples with are not only legitimate but urgent."―The Washington Post
"Intelligence expert Arkin argues that the digital revolution, combined with a reluctance to suffer casualties, is ushering in what military planners see as "perfect"--endless, casualty-free--warfare in this ingenious, if depressing, work... Arkin makes worthwhile the effort of understanding both the extensive transformations modern militaries are experiencing and their far-from-perfect consequences."―Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review)
Praise for AMERICAN COUP:
"Bill Arkin has a knack for stirring our national pot on uncomfortable issues that must be addressed. Today's world demands unconventional views on unconventional security challenges facing the United States. Bill asks tough questions of our security institutions, and the right answers demand a delicate balance between national-security preparedness and constitutional protections afforded to our citizens."―General Victor E. Renuart, Jr., USAF (Ret), commander of US Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command. 2007-2010
"If anybody else had written this book, I would urge caution. But Bill Arkin has explored every nook and cranny of American national-security policy for decades, from nuclear-weapons targeting to war plans for the invasion of Iraq, and his reputation for sober accuracy is rock solid."―Thomas Powers, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and author of Intelligence Wars: American Secret History from Hitler to Al-Qaeda
"If Bill Arkin doesn't know it, it isn't worth knowing."―Thomas E. Ricks, author of The Generals
About the Author
William Arkin, national security consultant to the New York Times, is one of America's premier military experts, having served in Army intelligence in West Berlin during the Cold War. He has written more than a dozen books and been at the center of countless exposés. At the Washington Post he conceived and co-authored the landmark "Top Secret America" investigation, and co-wrote the national bestseller of the same name. He is also the author of American Coup. He lives in Vermont.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The book is packed with hard to come by, detailed information of the technology, inventors, producers, buyers and deadly implementers of highly targeted remote-controlled killing machines, a vast apparatus employing hundreds of thousands of "unlaborers," corporations, institutions and office holders supporting the sorely misnamed "unmanned" enterprise. Maybe more manned than the legacy manned armaments.
Arkin goes below the publicity-driven acronymed programs to examine how they specifically work, or fail to work despite promises and generous budgets generated by slide shows and summaries featured by Team Snowden feeding its hundreds of media recyclers.
"Illusion of Perfect Warfare" is apt for not only the warmaking industry but its promotional cohort, virtual reality media.
Arkin provides a close read of the real threat to national security hidden by digitally illusory law, politics, consumerism.
This book could change the political discourse of the 2016 presidential campaign, so will likely be ignored by the leading candidates, all of them subservient to the Patriot Act, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and above all blind faith in official secretkeeping .
If Edward Snowden had the foresight to release his full cache to an experienced journalist like Arkin, the public would know far more about the elaborate and comprehensive technology of NSA and its allies to pry into the most minute, private aspects of lives, work, pleasure, business, religion, politics, finance -- literally "everything" as the head of NSA dreamed of gathering, most likely did and the agency continues to expand under diverting cover of the comparatively scandalous, shallow reporting of the Snowden material.
Arkin has written a superb background, present and future of "the Snowden era."
Chapters 11 through 21 are more interesting. They describe the incredible collection of electronics that have been developed over the past 20 years to go with the drones: sensors, communications, analytical software, real-time imaging. The drones carry equipment that is light-years beyond crude radar. Their electronic suites can detect cellphone activation, garage door openers, use long-distance facial recognition, and attack anything that moves or doesn't move. I would give 3 or 4 Stars to these last chapters.
For a much more detailed history of the development of drones, I recommend the book "Predator" by Whittle (2014). In fact, the author of "Unmanned" cites and quotes from this book many times.
Another worthwhile book is "The Weapon Wizards" by Katz and Bohbot (2012). It describes the development of drones in Israel, which country is a world leader in drone design and use.
Finally, the book "The Pentagon's Brain" by Jacobsen (2015) offers an interesting story of the many secret super-high-tech gizmos that the US military has developed over the years.
"Unmanned" is definitely the least informative and original of all these books.
The Air Force greatly values his work.
He is, of course, brave as well as persistent.
Don't read it. Not worth it.