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Bioterrorism and Biological Warfare (Hardback)

Disease as a Weapon of War

Military > Chemical Warfare

By Paul Chrystal
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 304
Illustrations: colour and mono
ISBN: 9781399090803
Published: 20th July 2023


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This important, disturbing and timely book focuses on on the use of disease and germs as a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) and the threat bioterrorism poses in an increasingly unpredictable and volatile future for the world.

For context it traces developments from the earliest primitive but effective days of infectious rams, poison-tipped arrows and plague-infected corpses used as toxic, disease-spreading projectiles, to the twenty-first-century industrial scale weaponization of biomedicine.

Paul Chrystal shows how biological weapons and acts of bioterrorism are especially effective at instilling terror, panic, death, famine and economic ruin on a large scale, shredding public confidence in governments and civilization itself. For the disaffected, lethal biological agents are comparatively easy to manufacture and obtain, and they have the benefit of being almost invisible and easy and quick to administer in lethal quantities through a variety of discreet delivery systems. Just what the terrorist wants.

We explore the sinister connection between the industrial-scale proliferation of biological weaponry by state actors and the greater opportunities these growing bio-arsenals give to the increasingly scientific-minded and determined terrorist to manufacture his or her weapon of choice, taking advantage also of the state of the art sophisticated delivery systems.

The epilogue analyses the concerted but groundless 2022-2023 disinformation campaign conducted by Russia, with support from China, relating to the claim that public health facilities in Ukraine are 'secret U.S.-funded biolabs', purportedly developing biological weapons.

As featured by

The History Shelf

Bioterrorism and Biological Warfare, by Paul Chrystal, is a fascinating historical look at the use of microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, and such, as a weapon, whether by states, organizations, or individuals.

NetGalley, Jack Messer
 Paul Chrystal

About Paul Chrystal

Paul Chrystal has been history advisor to York visitor attractions, writing features for national newspapers, and broadcasting on BBC local radio, on Radio 4’s PM programme and on the BBC World Service.
He is contributor to a number of history and archaeology magazines and writes features for national newspapers. He is author of the best-selling A History of Britain in 100 Objects (2022). His books have been translated into Chinese and Japanese.
He is author of Factory Girls: The Working Lives of Women and Children published by Pen & Sword in 2022.

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