The Gun that Changed the World / Edition 1by Mikhail Kalashnikov, Elena Joly, Andrew Brown
Pub. Date: 11/06/2006
The Russian word that is most frequently spoken throughout the world isn't Lenin, gulag or perestroika, it’s ‘Kalashnikov’. The reason for this is simple: there are 80 million Kalashnikovs in circulation on five continents. Once invented, the AK-47 assault rifle became the most widely used weapon in the world: from Vietnam to Palestine,
The Russian word that is most frequently spoken throughout the world isn't Lenin, gulag or perestroika, it’s ‘Kalashnikov’. The reason for this is simple: there are 80 million Kalashnikovs in circulation on five continents. Once invented, the AK-47 assault rifle became the most widely used weapon in the world: from Vietnam to Palestine, from Cuba to Iraq, it was at the heart of conflicts and struggles everywhere. It is the only firearm that has ever been depicted on a national flag – that of Mozambique, where it symbolizes liberation.
Mikhail Kalashnikov himself, who was born in 1919, here tells his life story, with the help of Elena Joly, for the first time: his deportation to Siberia with his family while still a child; his time as a soldier in a tank regiment; his invention of the world’s most famous weapon and his turbulent life under Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Gorbachev and Yeltsin. This is a remarkable portrait of a man of ingenuity and vitality in the context of the often frightening and terribly unforgiving Russia of the twentieth century.
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Table of Contents
Foreword to English edition: The history and workings of the AK-47.
Preface – The Terror and the Glory.
1. Treading a path of pain and sorrow.
Son of a kulak.
Farewell to Siberia.
2. ‘Arise, great country! Arise to mortal fight!’
The last but one.
My university – the hospital.
'You must help Sergeant Kalashnikov!'
3. The birth of the AK.
The 'Mikhim' dossier.
'Up until 2025, and even beyond….'
4. A unique weapon.
The standardization of firearms.
One more step.
5. 'He was a god, he might rise again.'
Daily life of a deputy in the Supreme Soviet.
Behind the walls of the Kremlin.
6. 'At home and abroad.'
Better late than never.
7. Odds and ends.
Select bibliography and filmography.
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