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Germs : Biological Weapons and America's Secret War (edition 2001)

by Judith Miller

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450523,201 (3.24)7
Member:msbhaven
Title:Germs : Biological Weapons and America's Secret War
Authors:Judith Miller
Info:Simon & Schuster (2001), Hardcover, 384 pages
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Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War by Judith Miller

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Showing 5 of 5
Germs. Viruses. Nasty little things made even nastier by scientific manipulation. This book, published in early 2001, explores the United State's efforts in germ and biological warfare from the 1950s onward. Special attention is paid to the little-known food bar poisoning attack by the Rajneeshees in Oregon in the early 1980s, Soviet advances and the subsequent degrading of their program after communism's collapse, Iraq and the first Gulf War, and battles in Washington D.C. over funding and ethical problems.

I was reading this book for novel research, and I did place sticky tabs on various points of interest. However, I was more interested in the science itself and the creations and preventative measures more than the battles for funding or the see-saw regarding weapons inspectors in Iraq in the 1990s. There's also the issue of the book's timing of publication in mid-2001. The final chapter on the future had ominous notes about the potential for attacks by figures such as Osama bin Laden. I have a feeling this book would have had a different focus if it had come out six months later, after the 9/11 attacks and the anthrax mailing scare. Still, it made for an interesting (in parts) if slow read--it took me two weeks to finish it. ( )
  ladycato | May 3, 2011 |
Largely just a repeat of Richard Preston's works, but interesting none the less. ( )
  ctorstens | Jan 7, 2010 |
3513. Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War, by Judith Miller, Stephen Engelberg, and William Broad (read 18 Dec 2001) This is a book of serious import, tho not too well organized, which may be because there are three authors. The subject matter made this an non-enjoyable book. ( )
  Schmerguls | Nov 22, 2007 |
I couldn't finish this book. I suffered from serious glaze over by page 150 and decided to call it a day.

Yes it's about germ warfare but germ warfare as it affects the US. This was also written in 2001 before the combined forces failed to find any biological weaponry.
  wyvernfriend | Apr 14, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Judith Millerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Broad, Williammain authorall editionsconfirmed
Engelberg, Stephenmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684871580, Hardcover)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:44:48 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"Deadly germs sprayed in shopping malls, bomblets spewing anthrax spores over battlefields, tiny vials of plague scattered in Times Square - these are the poor man's hydrogen bombs, hideous weapons of mass destruction that can be made in a simple laboratory." "In this work of investigative journalism, Judith Miller, Stephen Engelberg, and William Broad of The New York Times uncover the truth about biological weapons and show why bio-warfare and bio-terrorism are fast becoming our worst national nightmare." "Germs also shows how a small group of scientists and senior officials persuaded President Bill Clinton to launch a controversial multibillion-dollar program to detect a germ attack on U.S. soil and to aid its victims - a program that, so far, is struggling to provide real protection." "Based on hundreds of interviews with scientists and senior officials, including President Clinton, as well as on recently declassified documents and on-site reporting from the former Soviet Union's sinister bio-weapons labs, Germs shows us bio-warriors past and present at work at their trade. There is the American scientist who devoted his professional life to perfecting biological weapons, and the Nobel laureate who helped pioneer the new biology of genetically modified germs and is now trying to stop its misuse. We meet former Soviet scientists who made enough plague, smallpox, and anthrax to kill everyone on Earth and whose expertise is now in great demand by terrorists, rogue states, and legitimate research labs alike."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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