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Glock
Paul M. Barrett

The Rise of America's Gun

Crown
January 2012
On Sale: January 10, 2012
304 pages
ISBN: 0307719936
EAN: 9780307719935
Kindle: B004X6PRXC
Hardcover / e-Book
$26.00
Add to Wish List

Other Editions
Paperback (January 2013)

Non-Fiction

Based on fifteen years of research, Glock is the riveting story of the weapon that has become known as American’s gun. Today the Glock pistol has been embraced by two-thirds of all U.S. police departments, glamorized in countless Hollywood movies, and featured as a ubiquitous presence on prime-time TV. It has been rhapsodized by hip-hop artists, and coveted by cops and crooks alike. Created in 1982 by Gaston Glock, an obscure Austrian curtain-rod manufacturer, and swiftly adopted by the Austrian army, the Glock pistol, with its lightweight plastic frame and large-capacity spring-action magazine, arrived in America at a fortuitous time. Law enforcement agencies had concluded that their agents and officers, armed with standard six-round revolvers, were getting "outgunned" by drug dealers with semi-automatic pistols. They needed a new gun. When Karl Water, a firearm salesman based in the U.S. first saw a Glock in 1984, his reaction was, “Jeez, that’s ugly.” But the advantages of the pistol soon became apparent. The standard semi-automatic Glock could fire as many as 17 bullets from its magazine without reloading (one equipped with an extended thirty-three cartridge magazine was used in Tucson to shoot Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others). It was built with only 36 parts that were interchangeable with those of other models. You could drop it underwater, toss it from a helicopter, or leave it out in the snow, and it would still fire. It was reliable, accurate, lightweight, and cheaper to produce than Smith and Wesson’s revolver. Made in part of hardened plastic, it was even rumored (incorrectly) to be invisible to airport security screening. Filled with corporate intrigue, political maneuvering, Hollywood glitz, bloody shoot-outs—and an attempt on Gaston Glock’s life by a former lieutenant—Glock is at once the inside account of how Glock the company went about marketing its pistol to police agencies and later the public, as well as a compelling chronicle of the evolution of gun culture in America.

Media Buzz

CBS Sunday Morning - September 15, 2013
Tell Me More - April 10, 2013
Fresh Air - NPR - February 1, 2013
Tell Me More - January 16, 2013
Tell Me More - December 17, 2012
CBS This Morning - December 17, 2012
Fresh Air - NPR - January 24, 2012
Tell Me More - January 11, 2012
Marketplace - PRI - January 11, 2012

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