The Gun C.J. Chivers

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Kindle Edition

498 pages


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The Gun  by  C.J. Chivers

The Gun by C.J. Chivers
| Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | 498 pages | ISBN: | 5.19 Mb

At a secret arms-design contest in Stalin’s USSR, army technicians submitted a stubby rifle with a curved magazine. Dubbed the AK-47, it was selected as the Eastern Bloc’s standard arm. Scoffed at in the Pentagon as crude, it was in fact aMoreAt a secret arms-design contest in Stalin’s USSR, army technicians submitted a stubby rifle with a curved magazine.

Dubbed the AK-47, it was selected as the Eastern Bloc’s standard arm. Scoffed at in the Pentagon as crude, it was in fact a breakthrough—a compact automatic that could be mastered by anyone, last decades in the field, & rarely jam. Manufactured by tens of millions in planned economies, it became 1st an instrument of repression & then the most lethal weapon of the Cold War. Soon it was in the hands of terrorists. In an examination of modern conflict & official folly, C.J. Chivers mixes historical research, investigative reporting & battlefield reportage to illuminate the origins of the world’s most abundant firearm & consequences of its spread.

The result, a tour de force of history & storytelling, sweeps thru the miniaturization & distribution of automatic firepower & puts an iconic object in fuller context. The Gun dismantles myths as it moves from the naïve optimism of the Industrial Revolution thru the treacherous milieu of the USSR to the inside records of the Taliban. Chivers tells of the 19th-century inventor in Indianapolis who designs a Civil War killing machine, insisting efficient slaughter will save lives.

A German attaché who observes British machine guns killing Islamic warriors along the Nile advises his government to amass weapons that would later flatten British ranks in WWI. A locksmith acquires an AK-47 to help wrest Hungary from the Kremlin’s yoke, beginning a journey to the gallows. The Pentagon suppresses the results of firing tests on severed human heads that might have prevented faulty rifles from being rushed to GIs in Vietnam. In Africa, a millennial madman arms abducted children & turns them on their neighbors.

The Gun builds to a terrifying sequence, in which a young man who confronts a trio of assassins is shattered by 23 bullets at close range. The man survives to ask questions that Chivers examines with rigor. Throughout, The Gun animates unforgettable characters—inventors, salesmen, heroes, megalomaniacs, racists, dictators, gunrunners, terrorists, child soldiers, government careerists & fools.

Drawing from years of research, interviews & declassified records revealed for the 1st time, he presents a rich human account of an evolution in the experience of war.



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