The Gun: The Story of the AK-47

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Penguin Books Limited, Dec 5, 2013 - History - 496 pages

The AK-47, or 'Kalashnikov', is the most abundant and efficient firearm on earth. It is so light it can be used by children. It has transformed the way we fight wars, and its story is the chilling story of modern warfare.

C. J. Chivers's extraordinary new book tells an alternative history of the world as seen through these terrible weapons. He traces them back to their origins in the early experiments of Gatling and Maxim, and examines the first appearance of the machine-gun. The quest for ever greater firepower and mobility culminated in the AK-47 at the beginning of the Cold War, a weapon so remarkable that, over sixty years after its invention and having broken free of all state control, it has become central to civil wars all over the world.

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User Review  - wethewatched -

I got way more than I bargained for with The Gun by C.J. Chivers. I'm doing research for a novel, and have been reading up on some famous guns. This book is advertised as a history of the AK-47, and ... Read full review

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User Review  - rivkat -

History of the Kalashnikov rifle and related weapons, and of Kalashnikov himself (with concessions to the unreliability of Soviet history, including the multiple stories the inventor himself told ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

C.J. (Christopher John) Chivers is a senior writer for the New York Times and its former Moscow Bureau Chief. He was an infantry officer in the US Marines from 1988 to 1994 and served in the First Gulf War. He is the recipient of numerous prizes including a shared Pulitzer for International Reporting in 2009 for coverage of the war in Afghanistan. He has reported from many of the major war-torn areas of the world. He lives with his family in Rhode Island.

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