By C. J. Chivers
In a travel de strength, prize-winning New York Times reporter C.J. Chivers strains the discovery of the attack rifle, following the miniaturization of rapid-fire fingers from the yankee Civil struggle, via WWI, Vietnam, to provide day Afghanistan while Kalashnikovs and their knock-offs quantity as many as a hundred million, one for each seventy folks on earth.
At a mystery arms-design contest in Stalin’s Soviet Union, military technicians submitted a stubby rifle with a curved journal. Dubbed the AK-47, it used to be chosen because the jap Bloc’s common arm. Scoffed at within the Pentagon as crude and unimpressive, it used to be in truth a breakthrough—a compact automated which may be mastered through virtually an individual, final a long time within the box, and may infrequently jam. synthetic through millions in deliberate economies, it grew to become first an software of repression after which the main deadly weapon of the chilly struggle. quickly it used to be within the palms of terrorists.
In a searing exam of contemporary clash and legitimate folly, C. J. Chivers mixes meticulous old study, investigative reporting, and battlefield reportage to light up the origins of the world’s such a lot ample firearm and the implications of its unfold. the outcome, a travel de strength of background and storytelling, sweeps throughout the miniaturization and distribution of computerized firepower, and places an iconic item in fuller context than ever before.
The Gun dismantles myths because it strikes from the naïve optimism of the economic Revolution in the course of the treacherous milieu of the Soviet Union to the interior files of the Taliban. Chivers tells of the 19th-century inventor in Indianapolis who designs a Civil battle killing computer, insisting that more-efficient slaughter will retailer lives. A German connecté who observes British desktop weapons killing Islamic warriors alongside the Nile advises his govt to accumulate the guns that will later flatten British ranks in global conflict I. In communist Hungary, a locksmith acquires an AK-47 to aid wrest his nation from the Kremlin’s yoke, starting a trip to the gallows. The Pentagon suppresses the result of firing checks on severed human heads that may have avoided defective rifles from being rushed to G.I.s in Vietnam. In Africa, a millennial madman hands kidnapped kids and turns them on their pals, atmosphere his state ablaze. Neither pro-gun nor anti-gun, The Gun builds to a terrifying series, during which a tender guy who confronts a trio of assassins is shattered via 23 bullets at shut variety. the guy survives to invite questions that Chivers examines with rigor and flair.
Throughout, The Gun animates unforgettable characters—inventors, salesmen, heroes, megalomaniacs, racists, dictators, gunrunners, terrorists, baby squaddies, govt careerists, and fools. Drawing from years of study, interviews, and from declassified documents published for the 1st time, he provides a richly human account of an evolution within the very event of battle.