REFERENCE

Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Essential Reference Guide

ABC-CLIO. 2018. 400p. ed. by Erica A. Croddy & others. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781440855740. $94; ebk. ISBN 9781440855757. REF
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Croddy (Chemical and Biological Warfare), Jeffrey A. Larsen (dean, Sch. of International Graduate Studies, Naval Postgraduate Sch.), and James J. Wirtz (president, Larsen Consulting Group) paint a poignant picture of humanity's propensity to develop ever more lethal ways to rain death and destruction upon its enemies. All three editors are well positioned to explicate this subject, having worked in various capacities on weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and nuclear policy within the U.S. Department of Defense. Their expertise is made evident in the introductory essays that lay out the essential issues related to chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. Concise yet detailed entries touch upon pertinent historical, technological, scientific, and diplomatic subjects. A selection of primary sources, including treaties and policies, will be especially useful to those unfamiliar with these documents, which were written in an effort to curb the use of WMDs after their destructive power was witnessed during the world wars and other conflicts. Some readers may find the scientific entries a bit technical, but they may expect to learn something new, even eye-opening upon picking up this well-written volume.
VERDICT A helpful addition to any reference collection; relevant for undergraduates and public library users alike.

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