The Gun

October 29th, 2010

When it comes to war, sometimes the weapons define the conflict itself. From the musket, the Monitor and the Merrimack to Fat Man and Little Boy, our weapons have defined our views of conflict and often how we view our military preparedness. One such seminal weapon has been the AK47. Designed in Russia, after WWII, originally as the Kalashnikov, it would go on to become one of the most common weapons in the world. A weapon mass produced and designed to inflict maximum harm at close range, it has alternatively been seen as the gun of liberation or oppression. Pulitzer Prize winning war correspondent C.J. Chivers, in his new book The Gun, takes a look at a weapon, that probably more then nukes, defined the Cold War and is still part of the battle in Afghanistan and Iraq today. My conversation with C.J. Chivers: