Publisher description for Germs : biological weapons and America's secret war / Judith Miller, Stephen Engelberg, William Broad.


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Deadly germs sprayed in shopping malls, bomb-lets spewing anthrax spores over battlefields, tiny vials of plague scattered in Times Square -- these are the poor man's hydrogen bombs, hideous weapons of mass destruction that can be made in a simple laboratory.

In this groundbreaking work of investigative journalism, Judith Miller, Stephen Engelberg, and William Broad of The New York Times uncover the truth about biological weapons and show why bio-warfare and bio-terrorism are fast becoming our worst national nightmare.

Among the startling revelations in Germs:

Germs also shows how a small group of scientists and senior officials persuaded President Bill Clinton to launch a controversial multibillion-dollar program to detect a germ attack on U.S. soil and to aid its victims -- a program that, so far, is struggling to provide real protection.

Based on hundreds of interviews with scientists and senior officials, including President Clinton, as well as on recently declassified documents and on-site reporting from the former Soviet Union's sinister bio-weapons labs, Germs shows us bio-warriors past and present at work at their trade. There is the American scientist who devoted his professional life to perfecting biological weapons, and the Nobel laureate who helped pioneer the new biology of genetically modified germs and is now trying to stop its misuse. We meet former Soviet scientists who made enough plague, smallpox, and anthrax to kill everyone on Earth and whose expertise is now in great demand by terrorists, rogue states, and legitimate research labs alike.

A frightening and unforgettable narrative of cutting-edge science and spycraft, Germs shows us why advances in biology and the spread of germ weapons expertise to such countries as Iran, Iraq, and North Korea could make germs the weapon of the twenty-first century.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Biological warfare Safety measures United States, Biological warfare Research United States