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

Archives

by Larry Kahaner

Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley, 2007. Pp. xi, 258. Illus., notes, index. $24.95. ISBN:0-471-72641-9

A life and times of what some have termed the world’s real “weapon of mass destruction,” one that is probably responsible for more deaths than any other weapon in history barring the Roman sword, which, did, after all, have a reign of several centuries.

In AK-47 journalist Kahaner gives the reader several stories. To begin with, it’s a biography of Mikhail Kalashnikov, the World War II Red Army man who invented it. But the book is also a biography of this quite impressive weapon, delving into its tech-nological, tactical, and political origins. The work also takes a look at how and why the AK and its derivatives came to be the weapon of choice for insurrectionists, revolutionaries, and trouble makers of all sorts, all over the world, due to for its simplicity and durability, making it an amazingly “soldier proof” weapon. Kahaner doesn’t stop there, however, for he delves into the military, political, social, and cultural impact of the AK-47, which has quite literally changed the world.

These threads are braided into a highly readable, and thought-provoking work, though one likely to irk the gun huggers as much as it will the gun haters. An important read for anyone interested in the current state of the world.

Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   


Buy it at Amazon.com




X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close