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Publishers WeeklyIn 2006, when the Department of Homeland Security was searching for a site to house the "second biggest biodefense facility" in America, the Republican Congressman representing Pulaski County, Ky., was in the forefront of a coalition pushing to house the facility; it would be "as safe as going to Wal-Mart," he asserted. But thousands signed petitions in opposition, including Pulaski resident King, who collected enough evidence to call these safety claims lies. Even after Kentucky was eliminated as a potential home, King continued his research, compiling an impressive number of articles and reports that illustrate not only a widespread failure to track and contain biologically dangerous materials at germ labs across the country, but a history of reckless or even criminal behavior (routing chemical sprayings of U.S. cities through the 1950s, for example). As a chronicle of the development of America's largely unseen biodefense infrastructure, King's book is intriguing; the author combines meticulous research, an often flippant style, and unshakable faith. And this personal connection ultimately stops King's effort from being greater than the sum of its parts.
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