Weapons of mass destruction : an encyclopedia of worldwide policy, technology, and history /

Other Authors: Croddy, Eric, 1966-, Wirtz, James J., 1958-
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, c2005.
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Review by Choice Review

The WMD encyclopedia is comprehensive in selection of topics and relatively complete and balanced in treatment, considering the limits of the encyclopedia format. Entries, signed and written in an easily accessible style by qualified academics and analysts, are factually accurate. Two problems detract from the set's utility. First, the index does not include sufficient sub-references and cross-references, thus limiting its usefulness to less knowledgeable researchers; for example, although the entry for hemorrhagic fevers discusses Marburg and Lassa fevers, the index lists neither virus individually. Students who did not know that both were hemorrhagic fevers would have difficulty finding this discussion. Second, although the encyclopedia provides considerable detail, including broad policy disagreements about topics, occasionally it fails to note the existence of technical critiques by qualified experts; for example, it fails to mention critiques by Hans Bethe and other physicists of the technical feasibility of SDI. Despite these shortcomings, the overall quality of this encyclopedia makes it a useful addition to WMD resource collections. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; undergraduates. C. W. Herrick Muhlenberg College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

According to the U.S. Code Title 50, "War and National Defense," the term weapon of mass destruction0 means "any weapon or device that is intended, or has the capability, to cause death or serious bodily injury to a significant number of people through the release, dissemination, or impact of toxic or poisonous chemicals or their precursors; a disease organism; radiation or radioactivity." Eighty-two contributors have amassed an impressive amount of historical and current information pertaining to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in these volumes. Volume 1 covers "Chemical and Biological Weapons," and volume 2 covers "Nuclear Weapons." Each volume has its own bibliography, but the index in each volume is cumulative. Illustrations are good, though limited in number. More than 500 alphabetically arranged and signed articles cover all aspects of WMD from definitions of terms such as Kiloton, Novichok,0 and Payload0 to such topics as Korean War, National Strategic Target List, 0 and Pugwash Conferences.0 The articles are well written for general adult readers. Of particular interest are the excerpts from various treaties that discuss WMD or related destructive activities. Volume 1 is extremely detailed in describing all of the chemical and biological substances that could be part of WMD and what the consequences would be if each substance were used. No other reference source covers such a wide array of topics related to WMD. It will dispel many myths but will also draw attention to the lethal consequences of WMD. In today's world climate of unrest and terrorism, this is a highly recommended resource that will be of great interest to public and academic libraries. --H. Robert Malinowski Copyright 2005 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.