Six-Legged Soldiers: Using Insects as Weapons of War

Paperback | May 2, 2010

byJeffrey A. Lockwood

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In Six-Legged Soldiers, Jeffrey A. Lockwood paints a brilliant portrait of the many weirdly creative, truly frightening, and ultimately powerful ways in which insects have been used as weapons of war, terror, and torture. He concludes with a critical analysis of today's defenses--and homelandsecurity's dangerous shortcomings--with respect to entomological attacks.Beginning in prehistoric times and building toward a near and disturbing future, the reader is taken on a journey of innovation and depravity. Lockwood, an award-winning science writer, begins with the use of "bee bombs" in the ancient world and explores the role of insect-borne disease in changingthe course of major battles, from Napoleon's military campaigns to the trenches of World War I. He explores the horrific programs of insect weaponization during World War II: airplanes designed to drop plague-infested fleas, facilities rearing tens of millions of crop-devouring beetles, and prisoncamps where doctors tested disease-carrying lice on inmates. The Cold War saw secret government operations involving the mass release of specially developed strains of mosquitoes on an unsuspecting American public - along with the alleged use of disease-carrying and crop-eating pests against NorthKorea and Cuba. Lockwood reveals how easy it would be to use insects in warfare and terrorism today, pointing to how domestic eco-terrorists in 1989 extorted government officials and wreaked economic and political havoc by threatening to release the notorious Medfly into California's crops.A remarkable story of human ingenuity - and brutality - Six-Legged Soldiers is the first comprehensive look at the use of insects as weapons of war, from ancient times to the present day."An excellent account of the effect arthropod-borne diseases have had on warfare...This book will inspire readers to understand...threats and prepare new methods to combat them."--Nature"Both science and military history buffs will learn much from Lockwood, a self-described skeptic with a sense of humor." --Publishers Weekly"An infectious, haunting read."--The Financial Times

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In Six-Legged Soldiers, Jeffrey A. Lockwood paints a brilliant portrait of the many weirdly creative, truly frightening, and ultimately powerful ways in which insects have been used as weapons of war, terror, and torture. He concludes with a critical analysis of today's defenses--and homelandsecurity's dangerous shortcomings--with res...

Jeffrey A. Lockwood is Professor of Natural Sciences and Humanities at the University of Wyoming, where he teaches in the department of philosophy and in the MFA program in creative writing. His work has been included in the popular anthology Best American Science and Nature Writing, and he is winner of both a Pushcart Prize and the J...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.68 inPublished:May 2, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199733538

ISBN - 13:9780199733538

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsList of IllustrationsIntroductionPart One: Stinging Defeats and Venomous Victories1. Bee Bombs and Wasp Warheads2. Toxic Tactics and Terrors3. Insects as Tools of TorturePart Two: Vectors of Death4. Horseshoes and Hand Grenades5. The Victories of the Vectors6. A Most Uncivil War7. All's Lousy on the Eastern FrontPart Three: Bringing Fever and Famine to a World at War8. A Monstrous Metamorphosis9. Entomological Evil10. Japan's Fleas and Flies11. Japan's Pleas and Lies12. Beetle Bombs13. Waking the Slumbering GiantsPart Four: Cold-Blooded Fighters of the Cold War14. Korea's Hailstorms of Hexapods15. A Swarm of Accusations16. An Imaginary Menagerie?17. The Big Itch18. Yankee (and Vietnamese) Ingenuity19. Cuban Missiles vs. American Arthropods20. A Tiny Terrorist in Castro's CropsPart Five: The Future of Entomological Warfare21. Medflies, Fruits, and Nuts22. Fear on the Farm23. Wimpy Warmups and Real Deals24. Six-Legged Guardian Angels25. Insect Cyborgs and Roboflies26. "Vigilant and Ready"?EpilogueSuggested ReadingsNotesIndex