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Three reporters from The New York Times survey the recent history of biological weapons and sound an alarm about the coming threat of the "poor man's hydrogen bomb." Germs begins ominously enough, recounting the chilling attack by the followers of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in 1984 on the Dalles, Oregon--no one died, but nearly 1,000 were infected with a strain of salmonella that the cult had legally obtained, then cultured and distributed.
While the U.S. maintained an active "bugs and gas" program in the '50s and early '60s, bio-weapons were effectively pulled off this country's agenda in 1972 when countries around the world, led by the United States, forswore development of such weapons at the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. The issue reemerged in the early '90s thanks to Saddam Hussein and revelations of the clandestine and massive buildup of bio-weapons in remote corners of the Soviet Union. The book's description of the Soviet program is horrific. At its peak the program employed thousands of scientists, developing bioengineered pathogens as well as producing hundreds of tons of plague, anthrax, and smallpox annually. The authors conclude that while a biological attack against the United States is not necessarily inevitable, the danger of bio-weapons is too real to be ignored. Well-researched and documented, this book will not disappoint readers looking for a reliable and sober resource on the topic. --Harry C. Edwards --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Methodically researched and cogently argued by three New York Times reporters (one of whom received an anthrax-tainted letter recently), this survey of the modern history of biological weapons is a worthy, albeit frightening, exercise in investigative journalism. The book details the evolution of biowarfare (beginning about 60 years ago)from the U.S. to Iraq and the Soviet Union, vividly portraying these weapons in all their power and nightmarish possibilities. Guyer brings a dry but authoritative and appropriate journalistic tone to his reading. His is the steady, baritone voice of a network news anchor, and it works well conveying weighty information about major international events and politics. Thankfully, despite the topic's sensationalist possibilities, this production stays true to the sober, reasoned style of the text and steers clear of punctuating the reading with ominous or melodramatic musical flourishes. There's plenty in the facts themselves to convey unease, and while it might not be the lightest listening, there is no doubt that this is a high-quality production of a balanced and informative look at a growing global threat. Based on the S&S hardcover.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product Description
As others have noted, the editors of the New York Times have discovered that one of the authors of this book was manipulated by Ahmed Chalabi's false claims that Iraq had WMD. Read morePublished on May 31 2004
This book came out at the same time that Judith Miller was doing the incredibly bad reporting for the NYTimes that lead the US into the Iraq War. Read morePublished on May 27 2004 by RuthAlice
Even a week ago I would have said this is book is probably the best popular introduction to the subject. Read morePublished on May 27 2004 by Sean Flynt
As a molecular biologist, I was shocked at what was discussed in this book. Descriptions of potential weapons, or weapons that were being worked on when the Soviet Union fell sent... Read morePublished on April 25 2004 by A. Lee Lang
As a molecular biologist, I was shocked at what was discussed in this book. Descriptions of potential weapons, or weapons that were being worked on when the Soviet Union fell sent... Read morePublished on April 25 2004 by Julie
Since September 11 and the Anthrax letters people have become more aware of the threat of biological weapons. Read morePublished on April 24 2004 by M. Buisman
What these three authors are up to here is known in the trade as "selling your notes." This is a poorly organized, poorly written and boring account of a fascinating... Read morePublished on April 5 2004 by Mark K. Mcdonough
I read this book for the purpose of gaining an understanding of the dangers of bio-terrorism and wanted to be more informed on national preparedness to this threat. Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2004 by J. head