The Biology of Doom: The History of America's Secret Germ Warfare Project

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9780805057645: The Biology of Doom: The History of America's Secret Germ Warfare Project
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The first book to expose the true story of America's secret program to create biological weapons of mass destruction.

From anthrax to botulism, from smallpox to Ebola, the threat of biological destruction is rapidly overtaking our collective fear of atomic weaponry. In an era when a lone fanatic could wipe out an entire population with the contents of a small vial, the specter of germ warfare has moved into a prominent position in the public's mind. This riveting narrative traces America's own covert biological weapons program from its origins in World War II to its abrupt cancellation in 1969. This project, at its peak, employed 5,000 people, tested pathogens on 2,000 live human volunteers, and conducted open-air tests on American soil. The U.S. government appropriated research from Japanese experiments on Chinese civilians, thus benefiting from one of the twentieth century's greatest atrocities; sprayed its own cities with bacterial aerosols; and stockpiled millions of bacterial bombs for instant deployment. Yet, surprisingly, almost nothing has been published about this project until now. In light of America's increasing surveillance and condemnation of foreign biological weapons programs, this exposé of America's own dangerous Cold War secret is both fascinating and shocking.

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About the Author:

Ed Regis, Ph.D., a former philosophy professor, has written for Wired, Discover, and Science Digest. He is the author of four books, including Who Got Einstein's Office? and Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition.

From Publishers Weekly:

Regis (Virus Ground Zero, etc.) presents a thorough, frightening look at America's biological warfare program, from its inception during the late 1930s through the 1980s. He covers all the bases in looking at the strategic and scientific developments of biological warfare both in the U.S. and among its principal adversaries, including Japan, Germany and Russia. The topic is gruesome: Regis reveals that humans, as well as guinea pigs, rhesus monkeys and other animals, were exposed to live infectious agents. Bombs were created to remain underwater, then surface and spray out germs; tests were done on the efficacy of fleas as agents to carry plague. Regis writes for the layperson, and he is careful to depict the human dramas behind the science. He writes, for instance, of the scientist who tested psychotropic agents on unwitting co-workers and of the University of Wisconsin professor who had been drafted into the war effort and found it impossible to get out (as Regis puts it, "being in the profession was all too much like being in the Mafia: once you were in, you were in for good"). Along his way to reporting this important and underdiscussed aspect of the Cold War, Regis offers a great deal of startling evidence on the use of biological agents during the Korean conflictAand, also disturbing, that America used data from Japanese biological warfare tests done on Manchurian criminals. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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