AK-47: The Weapon that Changed the Face of War

AK-47: The Weapon that Changed the Face of War

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by Larry Kahaner
     
 

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No single weapon has spread so much raw power to so many people in so little time—and had such a devastating effect—as the AK-47 assault rifle. This book examines the legacy of this world-changing weapon, from its creation as means of fighting the Nazis to its ubiquity today in every kind of conflict, from civil wars in Africa to gang wars in L.A.

Overview


No single weapon has spread so much raw power to so many people in so little time—and had such a devastating effect—as the AK-47 assault rifle. This book examines the legacy of this world-changing weapon, from its creation as means of fighting the Nazis to its ubiquity today in every kind of conflict, from civil wars in Africa to gang wars in L.A.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

* Journalist Kahaner (The Quotations of Chairman Greenspan: Words from the Man Who Can Shake the World) presents a detailed study of the AK-47, the single most deadly weapon ever produced, and its designer. Mikhail Kalashnikov, a mechanically inclined Russian soldier, came up with this simple submachine gun to counter superior German weaponry during World War II. Brought into mass production in 1947 (this date formed the final part of the weapon's name, Avtomat Kalashnikov 1947), the AK-47 was shipped by the Soviet Union to Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, and the Middle East during the Cold War. In part because they are so easy to make, 80 to 100 million AKs have been manufactured and distributed during the last 59 years. Moreover, the AK has proven a superior weapon to the American M-16. Kahaner provides an interesting discussion of how internal politics in the U.S. Army led it to adopt, instead, an inferior, lightweight machine gun. Kalashnikov, who lives in Russia today, never became rich from his design, but he did receive recognition outside his homeland for the impact of his weapon. A fascinating examination; recommended for all libraries.
—Stephen L. Hupp, West Virginia Univ. Lib., Parkersburg (Library Journal, October 15, 2006)
Library Journal
Journalist Kahaner (The Quotations of Chairman Greenspan: Words from the Man Who Can Shake the World) presents a detailed study of the AK-47, the single most deadly weapon ever produced, and its designer. Mikhail Kalashnikov, a mechanically inclined Russian soldier, came up with this simple submachine gun to counter superior German weaponry during World War II. Brought into mass production in 1947 (this date formed the final part of the weapon's name, Avtomat Kalashnikov 1947), the AK-47 was shipped by the Soviet Union to Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, and the Middle East during the Cold War. In part because they are so easy to make, 80 to 100 million AKs have been manufactured and distributed during the last 59 years. Moreover, the AK has proven a superior weapon to the American M-16. Kahaner provides an interesting discussion of how internal politics in the U.S. Army led it to adopt, instead, an inferior, lightweight machine gun. Kalashnikov, who lives in Russia today, never became rich from his design, but he did receive recognition outside his homeland for the impact of his weapon. A fascinating examination; recommended for all libraries. Stephen L. Hupp, West Virginia Univ. Lib., Parkersburg Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471726418
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
10/20/2006
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
1,338,733
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Anyone who has fought or watched a war over the last half-century recognizes the AK-47, but few know much about it. Kahaner traces the rifle's role in wars from Vietnam to Iraq and from Central America to Central Africa. A fascinating biography of a weapon that has truly changed world history."
—Stephen Kinzer, author of Overthrow

"During the past half century, the AK-47 assault rifle has established itself as the most ubiquitous implement of destruction on the planet. No other gun comes close for its durability, low price, ease of operation, and sheer killing power. It has become a mainstay of armies and terrorists alike, and a universal icon of revolutionary upheaval. Larry Kahaner's book is the best history of this weapon that I have seen. AK-47: The Weapon That Changed the World will appeal to anyone who has ever watched the History Channel—or the evening news."
—Max Boot, senior fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, and author of The Savage Wars of Peace

Meet the Author

Larry Kahaner is an award-winning journalist and former Washington staff correspondent for BusinessWeek magazine. He is the author of eight books, including the groundbreaking Competitive Intelligence, and has been a guest expert on many shows, including Larry King Live, NPR's All Things Considered, and CBS Evening News.

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AK-47: The Weapon that Changed the Face of War 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
soulwatcher More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book figuring it to be another history of the AK-47.Surprise !!! this thoroughly researched book proceeded to give me a geo-political history and time-line for the propogation of the AK.Military buffs,historians,political pundits....a tell all book explaining how the AK ended up in some of the small "bush wars" and large scale battles all over the globe and how some totally surprising countries helped it spread.A "must read" for anyone wanting to know what sometimes goes on behind the scenes in wartime politics ..."Iran-contra,etc."
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was disappointing, with an abundance of remedial information. If you do not know much of anything about firearms or world history and especially military history, this book might be for you. Very simple for an introductory level book regarding military arms. This book is much more about the lasting effects of prolific small arms in various 'urban-esque' conflicts, with a focus on the Kalashnikov design's role, than it is about any arm itself. Their is little detail that is new, or extrapolated in any significant or different way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the Kalashnikov Model 47, and all it's derivatives. So I picked up this book at a store, sat down, and read, somewhat reluctantly, as it takes a lot for a nonfiction book to hook me. However, this is a captivating book, detailing not only the firearm itself and its history, but the facsinating political world that is so closely entwined with it's proliferation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'ak-47' is a very intresting book to me because it presents a gun that doesnt jam and through out history and world affairs and it has gone through the jungles and swamps of vietnam and the sands of the middle east and this assult rifle has been used all over the world and yet doesnt jam and this arthur has documented the life of the inventer of the ak-47 and he did not get any money for this infamous rifle yet the inventer of the m-16 got alot more money for his rifle. I think this book is really fasinating cause I did not know alot about the ak-47 and I really apprieate reading this book cause there is so much that has not been written about this weapon and publication has so much new reaserch in it.also with the war on terror going right now in the middle east alot of the terrorists are using this very weapon so Iam very intrested to see this book and it gives me some fasinating information.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Puts her hands on his chest and kissed his collar bone
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AK IS FOR ALASKA NOT SOME DEADLY WEAPON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey
GeeWhizz More than 1 year ago
The book provides some information (not well structured) on AK47 social impact. Almost no technical/design data. Many errors. I regret I bought it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Majority of this book is political and not historical. The first three chapters are very good and that last couple are also pretty good, but the majority of this book is about politics and UN related items. If you are looking for a detailed history of the weapon itself, this book is not it!
John Solomon More than 1 year ago
Another lame piece of work blaming the world's woes on a chunk of hardware instead of dictatorial behaviour. I'll give the author credit in having a fair depiction on how an AK works. 'Kalasnikov culture' is just another catchphrase to blame the third world's ills upon people who would take comfort in killing someone, raping their family, and pillaging their belongings. GOD BLESS AMERICA! GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!