THE GUN – History of the Kalashnikov Rifle or AK-47

THE GUN – History of the Kalashnikov Rifle or AK-47

Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster

Roseburg, OR –-( It is the most notorious, widespread, and lethal firearm in the world – Kalashnikov AK-47 Rifle.

Created in the Soviet Union at the start of the Cold War, the automatic Kalashnikov rifle, or AK-47, as it was first called, was a breakthrough weapon – a cheap, simple, and reliable device that allowed ordinary men to kill other men without extensive training or undue complication.

It was used to crush anticommunist uprisings in Eastern Europe, to battle American troops in Vietnam (who found it far superior to the early versions of their own M-16s), and as a symbolic statement by Osama bin Laden in his first taped message after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Today it remains a leading cause of battlefield deaths for American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, and terrorist-training records show that an introduction to the Kalashnikov is often to be the first class given to the young Islamic men who sign on for the Jihad.

THE GUN by C. J. Chivers
THE GUN by C. J. Chivers

In THE GUN (Simon & Schuster; October 12, 2010; $28.00), Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter and former Marine infantry officer C. J. Chivers presents a rich, engrossing, and comprehensive narrative history of this ground-breaking weapon – not only as a killing tool but as a strategic and political instrument that has changed the rules of war and influenced security and development in large sections of the world.

This is not merely the story of a weapon and where it came from. It is a chronicle of how war has changed, a rich work of history and a journey populated by geniuses and fools, ruthless villains and naïve idealists, self-promoting salesmen and incorrigible profiteers, a pantheon of killers of all stripes and, now and then, people who wanted the killing to stop.

The book’s vivid and rigorously reported character sketches – of expeditionary military leaders in the lopsided colonial fighting in nineteenth-century Africa; of a famed arms designer who was a trigamist and apparent draft dodger; of the treacherous lives of officials in Stalin’s Soviet Union; of the first known guerrilla to carry a Kalashnikov in an uprising, in Hungary in 1956; of a bodyguard shot by Iraqi assassins 23 times at close range – make THE GUN a feat of storytelling, and elevate the story of the AK-47 to an engaging history.

Chivers gives us a gripping, exhaustively researched, and far-reaching assessment of the most important weapon of our time. It is sure to be of intense interest to readers fascinated by military and international affairs, the history of firearms, the legacy of the Soviet Union, the evolution of modern warfare, or of a well-told tale that furthers an understanding of the world today.

And with its probing historical analysis, vivid reportage, and provocative moral dimension, it will be equally compelling to those concerned with the origins, dynamics, and resolution of global conflict.

“Far too many people regard the study of weapons as an illiberal art,” Chivers writes. “The chronicle of automatic firepower, viewed through the AK-47 and its infiltration across the world, suggests otherwise.”

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looking for the history of the ak47. I understand that there were 4 versions thru the years welded , stamping parts
looking for the best version like the Winchester model 94 that went through stamped parts powder metal parts
thanks kenn bennett