Bracing for Armageddon?

Bracing for Armageddon? : The Science and Politics of Bioterrorism in America

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Description

Since September 11th, the threat of a bioterrorist attack-massive, lethal, and unpreventable-has hung in the air over America. Bracing for Armageddon? offers a vividly written primer for the general reader, shedding light on the science behind potential bioterrorist attacks and revealing what could happen, what is likely to happen, and what almost certainly will not happen. The story opens with a riveting account of a bioterrorism scenario commissioned by the U.S. government. Using this doomsday tableau as a springboard, Clark reviews a host of bioterrorist threats (from agroterrorism to a poisoning of the water supply) and examines not only the worst-case menace of genetically engineered pathogens, but also the lethal agents on the CDC's official bioterrorism list, including Smallpox, Anthrax, Plague, Botulism, and Ebola. His overview of attempted bioterrorist attacks to date-such as the failed Aum Shinrikyo attempts in 1995 in Japan and the Anthrax attack in the US following 9/11-bolstered by interviews with a range of experts-shows why virtually all of these attempts have failed. Indeed, he demonstrates that a successful bioterrorism attack is exceedingly unlikely, while a major flu epidemic (such as the deadly epidemic of 1918 that killed millions worldwide) is a virtual certainty. Given the long odds of a bioterrorist attack, Clark asks, has the more than $40 billion the United States has dedicated to the defense against bioterrorism really been well spent? Is it time to move on to other priorities? In contrast to the alarmist fears stoked by the popular media, William Clark here provides a reassuring overview of what we really need to worry about-and what we don't.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 144 x 210 x 26mm | 399.16g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 10 black and white line illustrations
  • 0195336216
  • 9780195336214

Review quote

"Recommended."--Choice"A book that manages to be at once fairly comprehensive in scope and accessible to the general public, Bracing for Armageddon should be of interest not only to those involved in science and policy, but also to those wanting to know the details of existing threats, and what is being done to thwart them."-- Chemical Heritage"Bracing for Armageddon provides a skillfully written and highly accessible overview of bioterrorism. While some bits of information may be challenging for the non-scientist, Clark's well-organized book includes extensive and helpful endnotes, an index, and a glossary. This is a valuable reference for an informed citizenry." -- Calforina Literary Review "Recommended."--Choice"A book that manages to be at once fairly comprehensive in scope and accessible to the general public, Bracing for Armageddon should be of interest not only to those involved in science and policy, but also to those wanting to know the details of existing threats, and what is being done to thwart them."-- Chemical Heritage"Bracing for Armageddon provides a skillfully written and highly accessible overview of bioterrorism. While some bits of information may be challenging for the non-scientist, Clark's well-organized book includes extensive and helpful endnotes, an index, and a glossary. This is a valuable reference for an informed citizenry." -- Calforina Literary Review "Recommended."--Choice"A book that manages to be at once fairly comprehensive in scope and accessible to the general public, Bracing for Armageddon should be of interest not only to those involved in science and policy, but also to those wanting to know the details of existing threats, and what is being done to thwart them."-- Chemical Heritage"Bracing for Armageddon provides a skillfully written and highly accessible overview of bioterrorism. While some bits of information may be challenging for the non-scientist, Clark's well-organized book includes extensive and helpful endnotes, an index, and a glossary. This is a valuable reference for an informed citizenry." -- Calforina Literary Review "A book that manages to be at once fairly comprehensive in scope and accessible to the general public, Bracing for Armageddon should be of interest not only to those involved in science and policy, but also to those wanting to know the details of existing threats, and what is being done to thwart them."-- Chemical Heritage "Bracing for Armageddon provides a skillfully written and highly accessible overview of bioterrorism. While some bits of information may be challenging for the non-scientist, Clark's well-organized book includes extensive and helpful endnotes, an index, and a glossary. This is a valuable reference for an informed citizenry." -- Calforina Literary Review "Bracing for Armageddon provides a skillfully written and highly accessible overview of bioterrorism. While some bits of information may be challenging for the non-scientist, Clark's well-organized book includes extensive and helpful endnotes, an index, and a glossary. This is a valuable reference for an informed citizenry." -- Calforina Literary Reviewshow more

About William R. Clark

William R. Clark is Professor and Chair Emeritus of Immunology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is an internationally recognized authority on the killer T lymphocytes involved in organ transplant rejection and in viral immunity. He has written extensively on topics in science and medicine for the general public.show more

Table of contents

1. Tales of a Dark Winter: A Play in Three Acts: What could happen in a bioterrorist smallpox attack ; 2. Three Wake-up calls (And Some Near Misses): Bioterrorist incidents in the US and elsewhere: Rajneeshees; Aum Shinrikyo; 2001 postal anthrax attacks; Minnesota Patriots council; Larry Wayne Harris ; 3. Agents of Terror: The CDC list of bioterrorism pathogens (for anthrax, smallpox, plague, tularemia, botulism, Ebola). How they work, what we can do to protect ourselves ; 4. Genetically Modified Pathogens ; 5. The Ultimate Bioterrorist Mother Nature!: 1918 influenza pandemic; SARS; H5N1 ; 6. The Very Food on Your Plate (And the Water in Your Glass): Agroterrorism (livestock, crops); protecting our water supply ; 7. America Reacts: The Anti-Terrorism Acts of 1989, 1996, and 2002; the Strategic National Stockpile; the Bioshield and Biowatch Programs; progress to date; the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza. ; 8. Political, Legal, and Social Issues in A National Health Emergency: Social, legal, and civil rights issues surrounding major catastrophic events; quarantine, mandatory vaccinations; the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act. ; 9. The Politics of Bioterrorism in America ; 10. Assessing the Threat: Why virtually all bioterrorism attacks to date have failed; what it would take to succeed. Who could do it?show more

Rating details

6 ratings
2.83 out of 5 stars
5 0% (0)
4 17% (1)
3 50% (3)
2 33% (2)
1 0% (0)
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