Synopses & Reviews
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 homeland security'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 changing the 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 prison camps 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 North Korea 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.
About the Author
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 John Burroughs Award. He is the author of Grasshopper Dreaming: Reflections on Killing and Loving
and Locust: The Devastating Rise and Mysterious Disappearance of the Insect that Shaped the American Frontier.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
ONE: STINGING DEFEATS AND VENOMOUS VICTORIES
1 Bee Bombs and Wasp Warheads
2 Toxic Tactics and Terrors
3 Insects as Tools of Torture
TWO: VECTORS OF DEATH
4 Horseshoes and Hand Grenades
5 The Victories of the Vectors
6 A Most Uncivil War
7 All's Lousy on the Eastern Front
THREE: BRINGING FEVER AND FAMINE TO A WORLD AT WAR
8 A Monstrous Metamorphosis
9 Entomological Evil
10 Japan's Fleas and Flies
11 Japan's Pleas and Lies
12 Beetle Bombs
13 Waking the Slumbering Giants
FOUR: COLD-BLOODED FIGHTERS OF THE COLD WAR
14 Korea's Hailstorms of Hexapods
15 A Swarm of Accusations
16 An Imaginary Menagerie?
17 The Big Itch
18 Yankee (and Vietnamese) Ingenuity
19 Cuban Missiles vs. American Arthropods
20 A Tiny Terrorist in Castro's Crops
FIVE: THE FUTURE OF ENTOMOLOGICAL WARFARE
21 Medflies, Fruits, and Nuts
22 Fear on the Farm
23 Wimpy Warmups and Real Deals
24 Six-Legged Guardian Angels
25 Insect Cyborgs and Roboflies
26 "Vigilant and Ready"?