The Gun

The Gun

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
Rate this:
The author, a New York Times reporter, traces the invention and mass distribution of the AK-47 assault rifle, and its effects on war. He traces the invention of the assault rifle, following the miniaturization of rapid-fire arms from the American Civil War, through World War I and Vietnam, to present-day Afghanistan, where Kalashnikovs and their knockoffs number as many as 100 million, one for every seventy persons on earth. It is the weapon of state repression, as well as revolution, civil war, genocide, drug wars, and religious wars; and it is the arms of terrorists, guerrillas, boy soldiers, and thugs. From its inception to its use by more than fifty national armies around the world, to its role in modern-day Afghanistan, he discusses how the deadly weapon has helped alter world history.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2011, c2010.
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster trade pbk. ed.
ISBN: 9780743271738
Characteristics: 481 p., [16] p. of plates :,ill., ports., facs. ;,25 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Feb 20, 2017

A very informative and well written book. I enjoyed the chapter on the M-16 and the cold
pursuit by the Americans of a gun that was a failure. The number of the guns that exist in the world is a testament to the solid performance and availability of the weapon of choice of
most of the world. A very good read.

Dec 29, 2016

I recommend it. An unusual combination of military technology history, geopolitics, the international arms trade and the life of Kalashnikov. A long chapter on the development of the M-16 rifle and its problems.

Aug 09, 2014

Thick. Couldn't put it down. Former U.S Marine core captain Pulitzer for journalism NY times Chivers convinces reader the reason America lost Vietnam war was not political esoterics but rather superiority of enemy firepower viz a vis AK47 & Mig. Compelling evidence from someone who fought in the first wave of the conflict.

Rachelene Dec 06, 2011

An amazing book about the pervasive influence of the AK-47 on the world as we know it in the last 60 years. A must read, although it is not always fun to read.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

ddi2050 Jan 08, 2013

ddi2050 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and under


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Library

To Top