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Glock: The Rise of America's Gun

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,695 Ratings  ·  257 Reviews
Based on fifteen years of research, Glock is the riveting story of the weapon that has become known as American’s gun.  Today the Glock pistol has been embraced by two-thirds of all U.S. police departments, glamorized in countless Hollywood movies, and featured as a ubiquitous presence on prime-time TV. It has been rhapsodized by hip-hop artists, and coveted by cops and cr ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Broadway Books
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Jan 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: engineering
Let me preface my remarks by pointing out that I am not a firearms enthusiast and that my experience with them is limited to the brief use of a 12 gauge shotgun.

Despite the what a literal reading of the title might imply, the semiautomatic (mainly) pistols of this manufactuer are mainly made in Austria, though some are now assembled in the United States in the Atlanta area. I believe what the title is meant to imply is that the Glock, more particularly the 9mm caliber Glock 17, either caused or
Jan 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked the e-book version of this book from the library, thinking I was selecting a fiction, junk novel to pass the time during a long flight. Whoops -- turns out it is a non-fiction book about the gun, its inventor, its rise in popularity in the US, the NRA, the politics of guns and much more! Great book, worth reading.

But am I the only person in the US who doesn't own a handgun?
Bonnie E.
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It doesn't matter where you fall in the ongoing debate about gun safety vs Second Amendment rights to appreciate this book. The author of Glock presents an unbiased and objective story about the creation of the Glock pistol and its emergence onto the American scene to become its most famous handgun. The book is at its best describing the ways in which the Glock enterprise entered and eventually commanded the market. It is a fascinating business case study as much as anything else. The book is ex ...more
'Aussie Rick'
Feb 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
The book covers the development and rise of one of the greatest pistols in recent history, the Glock. This semi-automatic pistol is in use in a number of countries around the world with military, para-military, police and other law enforcement agencies. This book mainly covers its early development and reception in the United States, going into detail about how it gained massive sales and how it is perceived within American gun culture.

The first chapter of the book offers a brief account of the
Joseph Ribera
Mar 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting read. Covers both the story of how an appliance parts manufacturer became a billionaire by designing a pistol for the Austrian Army and the history, culture and politics of handguns in the U.S. A very balanced picture, unlike the NRA (pro) or gun-control lobby (con) views.

What was so remarkable was that Gaston Glock had no prior experience with guns, so he had no vested interest in any particular approach. Also, he asked experts what they would look for in the ideal firearm and
Jan 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
a decent and fair look at a brand that has become very ingrained into American culture. Written by someone unfamiliar with firearms for an audience also unfamiliar with firearms, the emphasis is on the rise of the company rather than the details of the product. There are numerous factual errors scattered through the book but the average reader would never notice them, nor are they of any great consequence. For the most part it is well written, with a smooth style. Chapter 19 is a bit non sequitu ...more
Ronald Dylan
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The odyssey of Glock, the man, the pistol and the company from Austria to the US is well-chronicled here. I own a Glock 22, the .40 cal model, and am planning to get the 9mm Glock 17 or 19 version. This book reinforces what I already know about the best pistol design ever, in my opinion, and shares a lot more details, which a gun nut would appreciate. This story of an inanimate object brought to life by Paul Barrett is nothing short of extraordinary.
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Glock: The Rise of America's Gun by Paul M. Barrett

"Glock" is the fascinating "biography" of America's favorite pistol. A surprisingly well balanced account of the Austrian-made pistol that is known for its high performance, ability to hold more ammunition than the standard revolver and simplicity of design. This riveting yet accessible book provides insights behind the inventor, the design and why it's favored by law enforcement. It also includes many interesting stories involving Glock pistols
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book about the history of the Glock. Not only does it give you an insight into one of the most famous guns ever, but it also shows you what a first class marketing plan can do for a company. It also dabbles into the past guns such as Colt.

This book shows you how mass hysteria and miss information has the possibility of crushing a great product but sometimes that backfires and the free market does what they want anyhow.

Mr. Glock started off making knives and then moved on to making t
Joe Chernicoff
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I began my working interest in firearms in 1953, as a competition shooter, hunter, and most of the time as an instructor, trainer of instructors, and law enforcement and security forearm trainer, publication editor, private detective, etc. The only 'popular' handgun I never fired is the Glock. Although I was well aware of this pistol when it first arrived on the market, I usually stayed with with either Colt and Taurus pieces for carrying.

So when I Paul M. Barrett's presentation on about
Extremely interesting as a study of the development of the company, of the gun itself, of the politics and business, and of some of the people involved.
Looking at the gun from a strictly technological point of view, it is a remarkable piece of engineering for its time. Its design and manufacture are examples of the phenomenon of someone coming to an industry without a lot of preconceptions about how things are supposed to be done and thereby creating something more original than they might have
Rick Helmuth
Mar 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never would have read this book based on its title, its cover, its subject matter or its author. But boy am I glad I heard the Terry Gross interview of Paul Barrett or I would have missed this one. Barrett, an assistant managing editor and senior writer at Bloomberg Businessweek, writes with the tone of a reporter that sticks to the facts objectively, allows the conclusions to logically present themselves and it is up to the reader make his or her value judgments.

This is the story of how Austr
Toby Fee
Nov 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strangely, this book covers the rise of the Glock, and the story of the American handgun industry at the same time, with almost zero political consciousness. The popularity of handguns is covered, the relationship between the gun press, the gun lobby, and the gun manufacturers, is well explicated, but very basic questions are left to the side like 'who do these guns end up shooting?'
Even the tale of a gun-rights advocate whose mis-handling of a gun left her relative with permanent orthopedic dam
Jan 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The rags (or at least from middle class existence of manufacturing curtain rods and the occasional military knife :) to riches story of Gaston Clock, and a good peek into the gun loving American psyche. An outsider creating a great product based on customer feedback would be the quintessential American success story if one ignores the various dark edges, as the dislike and distrust of American Glock employees by the Austrian brass, Mr. Glock's strange political leanings, and tendencies to minimi ...more
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gun control. If you support it, you will be shooting yourself in the foot, pardon the pun. One of the greatest forms of advertisement for gun sales is a political battle over gun control legislation and the second greatest advertisement is Hollywood. There are currently 300 million guns in the US. I have decided the problem goes back to 1791 when James Madison (basically on his own) pushed through the first ten amendments and the SECOND one was..."in order to maintain a proper militia, the right ...more
Brent Soderstrum
Dec 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-read
I recieved this book free from Goodreads First Reads program.

I am not a gun ethusiast but I did enjoy learning about how the Glock became America's gun. From its invention in Austria in the 1980s to its dominance as the handgun most police forces and private citizens prefer is a story full of money, celebrity, sex and even attempted murder. There was plenty of money to go around for everyone but like all segments of society there was never enough for me. The successful company became successful
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: political, nf
This tell-all provides more than I ever expected about the gun industry, gun culture and the personal penchants of the Austrian innovator Gaston Glock including his lecherous-power-grabbing-tax-dodging maneuvers.

The rise to prominence of Mr. Glock's creation at all strata and communities is a frightening reality in America and beyond. It's story Barrett imprints on the reader like an international spy thriller. Penned before the massacres in Newtown and Aurora, Barrett has gifted us an importan
Dec 29, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: europe, film-tv
**I received my copy from Goodreads First Reads.**

I am not a gun person in the least. I actually hate guns. But they do have a fascinating history, as proven by Glock. The Glock is a gun that was in the right place in the right time. It's interesting to read how its very image has been coopted by Hollywood as some sort of sexy symbol for gangsters and other unsavory types. I don't give it above 3 stars because this isn't my type of nonfiction, but I nonetheless learned a few things about gun cul
Aaron Kent
Feb 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
This is a very well written piece of reporting for anyone interested in big business, gun culture, or popular american culture in general. One could make the distinction that Glock the corporation, is very much the Apple computer of the handgun industry. You'll find no shortage of interesting characters and business intrigue in this book. As well, it offers a good deal of polictical back story for anyone on either side on Americas right to bear arms.
Jan 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full discolsure: free review copy received via goodreads.

This is very well written and, I think, will be appreciated by readers on all sides of the gun control debate. The book is not a political piece, but rather a survey of the actual impact Glock has had on the U.S. market. The book has a surprising amount of well-presented technical detail.
Luke Keegan
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was really a good book because it really shows how one man can change an entire industry, even when he is not very knowledgeable on a product. It shows how if someone thinks outside of the box, they can make a very innovative product, and be successful. It also shows how you (or your product) can be advertised through positive, and through negative media attention.
Jan 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Whether this is a business book about guns or a gun book with business highlights it is awesome. It takes you through the intriguing startup through its rapid and rocketing success. The author isn't shy to talk about Glocks darker side embezzlement, sex and bribery.

This is a fascinating and easy to read book about what brought us this great fun. They are fun to shoot too!
Sep 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Glock" covers the history - both positive and negative - of the handgun that changed contemporary America. Paul Barrett offers insights that make reading about the topic enjoyable. I'm not so sure I enjoyed some parts - the ones that detailed certain people's eccentricities, and oddities, but I suppose they are part of the story as well.
Dec 03, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned, 2012
often like this sort of thing, but for some reason this book didn't work for me. There was something vaguely dry and academic about the writing that didn't appeal - the musty scent of mothballs mixed with Great Great Aunt Twyla's lavendar sachets (poor thing, she never did find a husband).
John Ramey
Jan 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting tale of a company that inadvertantly became an industry leader. Exceptional design and, in hindsight, masterful marketing.
Marvin Watts
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just purchased my G17, love the design of the gun. Simple to operate and shoot. Now I feel like I am part of the Glock family.
Charlie Dennis
Jan 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good story on this gun company plus how the Glock 17 came to be. Warts and all were shown.
B. R. Reed
I had never heard about this book. Surprised I had missed it. It looked to be an interesting biography about a man, an Austrian named Gaston Glock, whom I knew little about. I have known about his guns but nothing about the man who invented the Glock 9mm pistol back in the early 80s. Today his polymer-framed pistols are used by law enforcement, military units and civilians all across the world. They are extremely popular here in America. I know numerous men who swear by the Glock.

Anyway, this wa
Brooke Evans
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First and foremost, I was so impressed by how non-partisan this book was. It's well written and easy to read, and it doesn't take sides. (Well, except it does paint the NRA as pretty extremist, which is totally possible, I don't know that much about the NRA outside of this book. But this is the only point on which the author seems to have any potential bias. He includes details about efforts within the industry to form a more moderate pro-gun lobbying organization.) It's totally informative and ...more
Thomas Caldwell
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting tale of the Samual Colt of our time, the gun he created, and the firearms industry as a whole. Also, a great telling of how the "assault rifle" ban of the 1990s did nothing for making Americans safer and made the gun manufacturers a ton of money.

An excellent book for gun owners and a good business tale for just about anyone of how to be at the right place, at the right time, with the right invention. I would have given the book five stars. But as the author referred to magazines a
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PAUL M. BARRETT I'm an assistant managing editor and senior feature writer at Bloomberg Businessweek. I've written two other books: American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion and The Good Black: A True Story of Race in America. I'm currently writing my 4th book about the fascinating legal battle in Ecuador pitting big oil against indigenous people and campesinos, not to mention a one ...more
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“One of the largest problems in getting a new design accepted by an established manufacturer is not just the ‘not invented here’ syndrome, but also the ‘we don’t have the tooling’ syndrome. Why invent something new when you can simply modify what you have?” 1 likes
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