This is a book that I was very glad to discover. The AK-47 remains one of the most significant inventions of the 20th century and will no doubt remain an influential weapon for decades to come. In spite of this, most people remain ignorant of it's significance.
Chivers begins by explaining the origins of "mobile firepower" during the first world war. He then moves on to the revolutionary small arms developments of WWII and their influence on Mikhail Kalashnikov, a young engineer entrusted with one of the Soviet Union's most important projects: the development of a new infantry rifle that would surpass every rifle currently in use.
This thorough and readable account covers the evolution of infantry rifles that culminated in Kalashnikov's iconic design, as well as its antithesis, the AR-15/M-16. Includes analyses of the AK's lasting global influence on combat, security, revolution and politics. ~ Reviewed by Nate George