Hellfire Boys: The Untold History of Soldiers, Scientists, and America's First Race for Weapons of Mass Destruction by Theo Emery

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Read Hellfire Boys: The Untold History of Soldiers, Scientists, and America's First Race for Weapons of Mass Destruction Online Free - An explosive look into the dawn of chemical warfare during World War I

Powerful and gripping, Hellfire Boys tells the story of the young men who started a Manhattan Project-type program at American University in 1917. These soldiers and chemists worked on offensive and defensive gas measures: testing hastily-made gas masks; observing the effects of mustard gas on goats, dogs, and even humans; and perfecting the ultimate weapon of mass destruction--lewisite, which, as World War I raged, the U.S. planned to unleash on Germans using another new technology, planes.

The book traces the actions of the "Hellfire Battalion," a group of American engineers who were trained in gas warfare and sent to the front lines in France to launch multiple assaults against the Germans.

The impact of this scientific work resonates to this day. Journalist Theo Emery reveals how this massive science and engineering effort spawned numerous Nobel laureates as well as a world in which thousands of people can be terrorized or killed at once.

Title : Hellfire Boys: The Untold History of Soldiers, Scientists, and America's First Race for Weapons of Mass Destruction
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0316264105
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 368 pages


Paul rated it ★★★★☆

September 21, 2017

This ARC was provided complements of NetGalley. My thanks. Gratitude sent to Little, Brown and Company a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc. for making this pre-release available. The author exposed me to the silent killer of World War 1 - poison gas. A dreadful piece of history. It was America'...

Steven rated it ★★★☆☆

January 14, 2018

At a time when we hear about weapons of mass destruction and a possible nuclear attack from North Korea it is interesting to contemplate the origins of such weaponry. During World War I unbeknownst to most people living in the Spring Valley neighborhood of Washington, DC the United States Army in...

Victoria rated it ★★★★★

January 16, 2018

I'm fascinated by war history but have very little formal education on the subject. Most of my learning has been on my own time, and Hellfire Boys explores an aspect I previously knew very little about-- chemical warfare. I bought Hellfire Boys for my mom, who was a history major and former reside...

Jonathan rated it ★★★★★

December 31, 2017

A brilliant exploration of the birth of chemical weapons in the US that veers between the frontlines in France during world war 1 and the secret laboratories in the US. Told with a novelists flair, Emery has achieved something remarkable with this book.

Zachary rated it ★★★★☆

March 08, 2018

World War I is remarkable in many ways. It's beginnings make no real sense. The way in which it was fought most of the time made no sense, either. It is remarkable how long it took generals at the time to adjust to the modern war they were fighting. Of course, much of the problem came down to the...

Brooks rated it ★★☆☆☆

December 26, 2017

The USA chemical industry like the rest of America was unprepared for WWI. Wilson won election on a neutrality platform and few believed the USA would join the war. Gas research fell to the bureau of mines as they had the strongest chemical program within the government and gas masks would be cri...

Ryan rated it ★★★★★

January 07, 2018

**I received this book as part of Goodreads' FirstReads giveaway.** This was excellent account of the United States role in chemical warfare during World War I. While the book primarily focuses on the history and politics of the formation and progression of Chemical Warfare Service (aka the 1st Ga...

Kelly rated it ★★★★★

December 07, 2017

This is a book that every politician should be required to read in this volatile climate of terrorism. As presented by the author, Emery, the history of chemical warfare is both lengthy and dangerous, leaving many soldiers dead, disabled, or with memories that should have been passed down to the...

Rachel rated it ★★★★☆

December 01, 2017

Well-written and interesting account of the American response to chemical weapons during WWI. In The Hellfire Boys, Theo Emery traces the development of gas weaponry, the military response, and the impact these weapons had on the people inventing them and the soldiers using them. Emery also recou...

Kim rated it ★★★★★

February 23, 2018

I bought this book at Theo's book launch at Politics and Prose (in D.C.) last fall. This was one of the most enthralling book talks I've ever attended. As he fielded questions (in a room full of journalists asking hard questions), it quickly became clear that Theo has not only exhaustively resear...

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