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A Higher Form of Killing: The Secret History of Chemical and Biological Warfare

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3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  154 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
A Higher Form of Killing opens with the first devastating battlefield use of lethal gas in World War I, and then investigates the stockpiling of biological weapons during World War II and in the decades afterward as well as the inhuman experiments con-ducted to test their effectiveness. This updated edition includes a new Introduction and a new final chapter exposing frigh ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Random House (first published 1982)
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John Lindsey
Overall this is a pretty enjoyable history of chemical and biological warfare in the 20th century. I have a few problems with it, however, the least of which is that it's a bit dry and repetitive.

I was annoyed that the authors sort of glossed over the human experimentation conducted by the US Army Chemical Corps at Edgewood Arsenal. I realize this book is fairly broad in its scope, but one would imagine that a chemical weapons testing program that lasted more than 20 years and utilized over 7,00
...more
Ben Taylor
Robert Harris's A Higher Form of Killing is filled with history on the use of chemical and biological warfare. WW1 atarted the first usage of lethal gasses on the battlefield and was soon evolved into more affective chemical weapons.It never gave a striaght story line on the past events toward chemical warfare but instead talked about how chemical warfare was used in soceity. This book went slowly due to the fact it seemed to just be facts instead of a story with facts incorporated in it. Howeve ...more
Janice
Jan 12, 2012 Janice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i read this book 13 or 14 years ago. really! (yes! i'm just adding it now!) not that it was forgotten. it has lived in the back of my brain ever since. when the anthrax scare happened, when i saw mr. death, whenever the X-files had episodes about strange diseases, whenever i think of sheep on rocky scottish islands (for reals! look up Gruinard Island), whenever W mentioned imaginary WMD's, and now, yesterday, when i listened to the new episode of radiolab (http://www.radiolab.org/2012/jan/09/) a ...more
Kevin Butler
This is a good read with some very interesting/scary facts throughout. However I did feel after a while you were just reading the same thing over and over, they made these new chemicals but they never used them, they improved them but never really used the.
Rebecca
Dec 05, 2007 Rebecca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of CW (just kidding)
I mean, even the title is bone-chilling (it's a quote from Fritz Haber, commercializer of the Haber nitrogen-fixation process, eerily enough). A great, detailed read on the history of chemical weapons from Yves to today.
Jane Walker
May 29, 2012 Jane Walker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An updated version of a book first published 30 years ago. It's a history which most of us know nothing about, apart from the use of gas in WWI. Crisply written, absorbing.
Tom Kammerer
Starts off fascinating,becomes somewhat repetitive and boring,and then finishes with a flourish although quickly sketched out
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ROBERT HARRIS is the author of nine best-selling novels: Fatherland, Enigma, Archangel, Pompeii, Imperium, The Ghost Writer, Conspirata, The Fear Index, and An Officer and a Spy. Several of his books have been adapted to film, most recently The Ghost Writer, directed by Roman Polanski. His work has been translated into thirty-seven languages. He lives in the village of Kintbury, England, with his ...more
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