Deadly Cultures: Biological Weapons since 1945

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Overview

The threat of biological weapons has never attracted as much public attention as in the past five years. Current concerns largely relate to the threat of weapons acquisition and use by rogue states or by terrorists. But the threat has deeper roots--it has been evident for fifty years that biological agents could be used to cause mass casualties and large-scale economic damage. Yet there has been little historical analysis of such weapons over the past half-century.

Deadly Cultures sets out to fill this gap by analyzing the historical developments since 1945 and addressing three central issues: Why have states continued or begun programs for acquiring biological weapons? Why have states terminated biological weapons programs? How have states demonstrated that they have truly terminated their biological weapons programs?

We now live in a world in which the basic knowledge needed to develop biological weapons is more widely available than ever before. Deadly Cultures provides the lessons from history that we urgently need in order to strengthen the long-standing prohibition of biological weapons.

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Editorial Reviews

Nature

Deadly Cultures is written eloquently and has been edited superbly.The chapters have a uniform style and organization; scientific and political terminology is used in a consistent and correct manner throughout; and abbreviations are used only where absolutely necessary. In contrast to most other books on bioweapons, the editors have almost always used up-to-date taxonomy of biological agents, as well as the differentiation of agents and the diseases they cause. The authors also included the original names of all institutes involved in bioweapons R&D. This is not a trivial point as French, Iraqi or Russian institute designations have been translated differently in the past, and were also frequently changed during decades of reorganization, confusing both analysts and interested laymen...Deadly Cultures is informative, meticulously researched, important in its message, and a fabulous read for both scholars and interested scientists.
— Jens H. Kuhn

Biologist

[This book] is a survey as accessible in its prose style and avoidance of unnecessary jargon as it is fair-minded in its treatment of claims and counter-claims by those involved or allegedly involved in BW work. This is the book, which will doubtless remain unrivalled, for anyone wishing to understand the scientific basis of efforts to harness microorganisms as weapons of war and terror, the military arguments for and against their use, and the political context of those developments and arguments. Alongside individual chapters devoted to the US, UK, French, Canadian, Soviet, Iraqi, and South African BW programmes, as well as those in non-Soviet Warsaw Pact countries, the book addresses issues such as anti-crop weapons, anti-animal weapons and the significance of BW agents in the hands of terrorists...Meticulously documented with well over 1000 references, the book is as magnificent in its compilation as its subject matter is horrendous in its malevolent purpose.
— Bernard Dixon

Jonathan B. Tucker
Deadly Cultures provides an indispensable history of biological weapons and warfare since the end of World War II. Written by internationally prominent experts, it contains invaluable information and insights.
Nature - Jens H. Kuhn
Deadly Cultures is written eloquently and has been edited superbly.The chapters have a uniform style and organization; scientific and political terminology is used in a consistent and correct manner throughout; and abbreviations are used only where absolutely necessary. In contrast to most other books on bioweapons, the editors have almost always used up-to-date taxonomy of biological agents, as well as the differentiation of agents and the diseases they cause. The authors also included the original names of all institutes involved in bioweapons R&D. This is not a trivial point as French, Iraqi or Russian institute designations have been translated differently in the past, and were also frequently changed during decades of reorganization, confusing both analysts and interested laymen...Deadly Cultures is informative, meticulously researched, important in its message, and a fabulous read for both scholars and interested scientists.
Biologist - Bernard Dixon
[This book] is a survey as accessible in its prose style and avoidance of unnecessary jargon as it is fair-minded in its treatment of claims and counter-claims by those involved or allegedly involved in BW work. This is the book, which will doubtless remain unrivalled, for anyone wishing to understand the scientific basis of efforts to harness microorganisms as weapons of war and terror, the military arguments for and against their use, and the political context of those developments and arguments. Alongside individual chapters devoted to the US, UK, French, Canadian, Soviet, Iraqi, and South African BW programmes, as well as those in non-Soviet Warsaw Pact countries, the book addresses issues such as anti-crop weapons, anti-animal weapons and the significance of BW agents in the hands of terrorists...Meticulously documented with well over 1000 references, the book is as magnificent in its compilation as its subject matter is horrendous in its malevolent purpose.
Nature
Deadly Cultures is written eloquently and has been edited superbly.The chapters have a uniform style and organization; scientific and political terminology is used in a consistent and correct manner throughout; and abbreviations are used only where absolutely necessary. In contrast to most other books on bioweapons, the editors have almost always used up-to-date taxonomy of biological agents, as well as the differentiation of agents and the diseases they cause. The authors also included the original names of all institutes involved in bioweapons R&D. This is not a trivial point as French, Iraqi or Russian institute designations have been translated differently in the past, and were also frequently changed during decades of reorganization, confusing both analysts and interested laymen...Deadly Cultures is informative, meticulously researched, important in its message, and a fabulous read for both scholars and interested scientists.
— Jens H. Kuhn
Biologist
[This book] is a survey as accessible in its prose style and avoidance of unnecessary jargon as it is fair-minded in its treatment of claims and counter-claims by those involved or allegedly involved in BW work. This is the book, which will doubtless remain unrivalled, for anyone wishing to understand the scientific basis of efforts to harness microorganisms as weapons of war and terror, the military arguments for and against their use, and the political context of those developments and arguments. Alongside individual chapters devoted to the US, UK, French, Canadian, Soviet, Iraqi, and South African BW programmes, as well as those in non-Soviet Warsaw Pact countries, the book addresses issues such as anti-crop weapons, anti-animal weapons and the significance of BW agents in the hands of terrorists...Meticulously documented with well over 1000 references, the book is as magnificent in its compilation as its subject matter is horrendous in its malevolent purpose.
— Bernard Dixon
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674016996
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Wheelis is Senior Lecturer in the Section of Microbiology at the University of California, Davis.

Lajos Rózsa is senior researcher, Animal Ecology Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary.

Malcolm Dando is Professor of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, England.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Abbreviations

1. Historical Context and Overview
Mark Wheelis, Lajos Rózsa, and Malcolm Dando

2. The US Biological Weapons Program
John Ellis van Courtland Moon

3. The UK Biological Weapons Program
Brian Balmer

4. The Canadian Biological Weapons Program and the Tripartite Alliance
Donald Avery

5. The French Biological Weapons Program
Olivier Lepick

6. The Soviet Biological Weapons Program
John Hart

7. Biological Weapons in Non-Soviet Warsaw Pact Countries
Lajos Rózsa and Kathryn Nixdorff

8. The Iraqi Biological Weapons Program
Graham Pearson

9. The South African Biological Weapons Program
ChandrE Gould and Alastair Hay

10. Anticrop Biological Weapons Programs
Simon Whitby

11. Antianimal Biological Weapons Programs
Piers Millet

12. Midspectrum Incapacitant Programs
Malcolm Dando and Martin Furmanski

13. Allegations of Biological Weapons Use
Martin Furmanski and Mark Wheelis

14. Terrorist Use of Biological Weapons
Mark Wheelis and Masaaki Sugishima

15. The Politics of Biological Disarmament
Marie Chevrier

16. Legal Constraints on Biological Weapons
Nicholas Sims

17. Analysis and Implications
Malcolm Dando, Graham Pearson, Lajos Rózsa, Julian Perry Robinson, and Mark Wheelis

Appendix. The Biological Weapons Convention

Notes

Contributors

Index

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