A solidly reported story of a modern-day Samuel Colt who transformed the handgun business.




Bloomberg BusinessWeek editor takes expert aim at Glock—the man, the company, the handgun.

Before it was “America’s gun,” it was Austria’s, where outside Vienna Gaston Glock operated a garage metal shop. When the Austrian Army needed a new sidearm in the early 1980s, the unlikely Glock designed a revolutionary semi-automatic pistol, featuring a polymer-fashioned frame. Light, thin, easy to shoot and maintain, Glock 17 beat back media assaults against easily concealable “plastic pistols” and, instead, earned the attention of U.S. law-enforcement agencies looking for greater “stopping power” against increasingly better armed criminals. Offering huge discounts and shrewdly marketing to police from its facility in Smyrna, Ga., the company employed Gold Club strippers and Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders to attract crowds, entertain clients and lend the pistol a sexy cachet that grew exponentially when it popped up all over TV and movies as the gun of choice for cops and killers alike. Within the industry, Glock went its own way, quietly settling or aggressively defending lawsuits, alternately feuding or making nice with the federal and city governments and the powerful NRA. Having reported this story for years, Barrett (American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion, 2006, etc.) well knows every aspect of the Glock phenomenon, the company’s astonishing rise to market dominance and its seamy business practices—which have included money laundering, tax evasion and illegal campaign contributions. The author unmasks the in-house lawyers who embezzled and the financial advisor who siphoned funds and who clumsily attempted an assassination of the increasingly imperious founder, whose taste for mistresses and lavish entertainments only grew as Glock amassed billions. Gun enthusiasts surely will enjoy Barrett’s account, but it also serves as a colorful case study of the manufacturer who beat long-entrenched, legendary brands at their own game.

A solidly reported story of a modern-day Samuel Colt who transformed the handgun business.

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-71993-5

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet