By C. J. Chivers
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 commonplace arm. Scoffed at within the Pentagon as crude and unimpressive, it used to be in reality a breakthrough—a compact computerized that may be mastered by way of virtually someone, final a long time within the box, and could infrequently jam. synthetic by means of hundreds of thousands in deliberate economies, it grew to become first an tool of repression after which the main deadly weapon of the chilly warfare. quickly it used to be within the palms of terrorists.In a searing exam of contemporary clash and authentic folly, C. J. Chivers mixes meticulous historic examine, investigative reporting, and battlefield reportage to light up the origins of the world’s so much ample firearm and the results of its unfold. the end result, a journey de strength of historical past and storytelling, sweeps in the course of the miniaturization and distribution of automated firepower, and places an iconic item in fuller context than ever prior to. The Gun dismantles myths because it strikes from the naïve optimism of the economic Revolution throughout the treacherous milieu of the Soviet Union to the interior documents of the Taliban. Chivers tells of the 19th-century inventor in Indianapolis who designs a Civil struggle killing laptop, insisting that more-efficient slaughter will keep lives. A German attaché who observes British laptop weapons killing Islamic warriors alongside the Nile advises his govt to acquire the guns that might later flatten British ranks in international conflict I. In communist Hungary, a locksmith acquires an AK-47 to assist wrest his state from the Kremlin’s yoke, starting a trip to the gallows. The Pentagon suppresses the result of firing assessments on severed human heads that would have avoided defective rifles from being rushed to G.I.s in Vietnam. In Africa, a millennial madman fingers kidnapped little ones and turns them on their buddies, surroundings 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 by means of 23 bullets at shut diversity. 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 analysis, interviews, and from declassified files published for the 1st time, he offers a richly human account of an evolution within the very event of battle.