The Wrong Hands: Popular Weapons Manuals and Their Historic Challenges to a Democratic Society

By Ann Larabee | Go to book overview

8
Weapons of Mass Destruction

With the rise of secretive large-scale weapons production, exemplified in the Manhattan Project, the ability of a small isolated group to steal technological power from the state became almost entirely impossible. From the days when anarchists threatened that they could use dynamite to level the field, the technology of the popular weapons manual fell far behind the military technologies of the state. After the Vietnam War, the manuals by the paramilitary publishers had a nostalgic feel, like veterans telling stories about their old war experiences, recycling older ideas about explosives, poisons, chemicals, bomb designs, and booby traps. Often relying on outdated textbooks and encyclopedias, the authors made obsolescence into a virtue, imagining postdisaster worlds when the high-tech production systems would fail and the old, accessible forms of knowledge would allow ordinary people to survive off the grid, live a more connected life, and defend the homestead. Weapons that could be made by hand, using simple processes, were a more satisfying, connected form of labor than the compartmentalized work of designing complex weaponry. By the 1980s, radical groups like Earth First! celebrated the simple wrench as a weapon that could break through complacency about environmental destruction. More recently, some authors of popular weapons manuals have aspired to a greater professionalism by adding the trappings of scientific concepts and procedures and multimedia descriptions that can be more easily imitated, but the weapons offered are simple in design and usability, not requiring complex manufacturing facilities and networks of technical expertise. The explosive devices that circulate could still have a devastatingly lethal effect and a great symbolic impact, but they pale in comparison to national military power to crush entire cities and destroy hundreds of thousands of lives with weapons of mass destruction, technologies that are too complex and difficult to emulate. The federal government’s legal definition of “weapon of mass destruction” to mean any explosive device hides this imbalance.1

Designs for pipe bombs and claymore mines might be one thing, but designs for nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists seem quite another. The truth is, however, that the basic designs have been out there for many decades, in the

-171-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Wrong Hands: Popular Weapons Manuals and Their Historic Challenges to a Democratic Society
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - The Science of Revolutionary Warfare 15
  • 2 - Sabotage 36
  • 3 - The Anarchist Cookbook 64
  • 4 - Hitmen 90
  • 5 - Monkeywrenching 108
  • 6 - Ka Fucking Boom 131
  • 7 - Vast Libraries of Jihad and Revolution 152
  • 8 - Weapons of Mass Destruction 171
  • Conclusion 185
  • Notes 191
  • Selected Bibliography 221
  • Index 239
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 254

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.