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Eleventh Plague: The Politics of Biological and Chemical Warfare
     

Eleventh Plague: The Politics of Biological and Chemical Warfare

by Leonard A. Cole
 

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The Eleventh Plague deals with a terrifying and compelling subject: biological and chemical warfare. Using historical and contemporary examples, Cole explains what biological and chemical weapons are, how they are developed and tested, and what their effects can be. He vividly describes the very real threat that Iraq would use chemical weapons in the

Overview

The Eleventh Plague deals with a terrifying and compelling subject: biological and chemical warfare. Using historical and contemporary examples, Cole explains what biological and chemical weapons are, how they are developed and tested, and what their effects can be. He vividly describes the very real threat that Iraq would use chemical weapons in the Gulf War - real enough that every man, woman, and child in Israel had to wear a gas mask. He also analyzes the possibility that the so-called Gulf War syndrome may have been due to biological or chemical weapons, a possibility that federal investigations have yet to confirm or disprove. Cole lucidly describes the wide range of possible responses to the threat of biological or chemical warfare. But every expert admits that absolute protection may be impossible. Materials can be easy to get, even easier to transport, and virtually impossible to trace. The Eleventh Plague arms us with a frightening knowledge. What do recent political and technical developments suggest for the future? And how will we fight this increasingly ominous, deadly plague?

Editorial Reviews

Journal of the American Medical Association
The Eleventh Plague effectively provides a unique entree into the secretive world of chemical and biologic warfare and the inept politics of governments trying to deal with this emerging threat. In the end, I am left wondering whether I will be an unwitting victim of the next terroist attack or an unconsenting subject of the next government-sponsored experiment intended to protect me. Neither thought is reassuring.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
At a time when the reach of terrorism threatens more countries than ever, this provocative analysis of the debate on the future of chemical and biological weapons delivers a strong wake-up call. Cole (Elements of Risk, etc.), an adjunct professor of political science at Rutgers University, begins by surveying the U.S. Army's testing of these weapons in the 1950s and '60s on unsuspecting civilian populations, including aerial spraying over cities such as Minneapolis and St. Louis. He then covers issues relating to the Middle East, especially the worldwide failure to condemn Iraq's use of chemical weapons during its long war with Iran-a failure, Cole avers, that encouraged Saddam Hussein to continue his aggressive moves. Finally, Cole looks at what he calls "new challenges," such as the 1995 sarin gas attack in Tokyo, the problems inherent in verifying compliance with various treaties and the erosion of moral outrage over continued development of these weapons. He also examines the problem of how to defend against chemical and biological weapons, citing Israel's fears during the Iraqi attacks in 1991 and exploring what he sees as America's unpreparedness for attacks by these weapons. Cole ultimately finds that "the compromise of moral principles has led to a greater insecurity"-a message that may be painful to hear, but that, thanks to his closely reasoned and ethically astute work, has now been stated loud and clear. Author tour. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Chemical and biological warfare (CBW) is not new, nor is Cole's basic story line: all weapons cause a "conflict between moral behavior and national security." Cole (political science, Rutgers Univ.) argues his view in three parts. First, by examining through official U.S. Army files the history of CBW testing, he highlights the extent of U.S. efforts. Next he claims that the world allowed Iraq to develop a CBW capability that almost led to a catastrophe. Finally, he raises the specter of CBW terrrorism and the urgent need for a counterproliferation treaty. Cole jumps back and forth almost randomly; is this a book about chemicals or biological agents? Like the biblical plagues alluded to in the title, Cole believes that CBW is an ominous punishment brought on humankind by its own moral shortcomings. So what's new? For academic and larger public collections.-John J. Yurechko, Georgetown Univ., Washington, D.C.
Booknews
A specialist in the subject, Cole (science and public policy, Rutgers U.) offers historical and contemporary examples to explain what biological and chemical weapons are, how they are developed and tested, and what their effects can be. Among them are the German introduction of mustard gas by Germany in 1917, Iraq's use of chemical weapons against Iran, and the chemical nerve gas attack in the Tokyo subway in 1995. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
From the Publisher
"A fascinating, informative, and alarming account of the weapons we dread the most—how they've worked in practice, and how they may work in the future. We should all be grateful to Leonard cole for uncovering the important truths about biological and chemical weapons." —Richard Preston, author of The Cobra Event and The Hot Zone

"The Eleventh Plauge is a significant contribution to the all-too-sparse literature on an issue that grows more crutial with every passing day. It should be read by anyone wanting to understand what may well be tomorrow's headlines." —Daniel Patrick Moynihan, United States Senator

"Professor Cole offers a valuable, highly readable analysis of an emerging global threat." —Elaine Sciolino, diplomatic correspondent, The New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780716729501
Publisher:
Freeman, W. H. & Company
Publication date:
10/28/1996
Pages:
250
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 9.59(h) x 1.04(d)

What People are Saying About This

Jessica Stern
"Critically important. Unbelievably timely. Read this book!" -- National Security Council
Daniel Patrick Moynihan
"A significant contribution to the all-too-sparse literature on an issue that grows more crucial with every passing day." -- Senator

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