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A History of the World in 100 Weapons

A History of the World in 100 Weapons Book Review

By Rachel E. Veres

Date of Review August 2012 Title A History of the World in 100 Weapons
Author Christopher McNab Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2011 ISBN 9781849085205
Format 384 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $29.95

Review

In A History of the World in 100 Weapons author Christopher McNab offers readers a glimpse of history through the prism of military technology. 

From a simple flint axe wielded by ancient ancestors to modern unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) flown by operators thousands of miles from targets, McNab demonstrates how weapon innovation, whether directly or indirectly, impacts the course of history. 

The book divides into seven major sections – with smooth transitions from one era to the next.  Pictures and colorful illustrations offer a glimpse into the past – and use of crucial weapons from different periods.  Including first-hand accounts throughout each section, the author plucks readers from the comfort of present-day and drops them into historic episodes.

For example, when detailing development and use of the B-17 Flying Fortress, McNab inserts an anecdote from Adolf Galland, German fighter ace and Luftwaffe commander.  As Galland vividly describes an attack on a straggling B-17, one can almost witness the ill-fated aircraft's crew bailing out as P-51 Mustangs zoom in, driving the German ace from his quarry.

Naturally, the subjects McNab illustrates are not the only important inventions in warfare throughout history.  That kind of inclusive account would likely rival the Encyclopedia Britannica contents!  However, by focusing on specific weapons, McNab delivers both an engaging and easy read for anyone interested in military history.

Highly recommended.

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!

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