Paul M. Barrett
The Rise of America's Gun
Crown, January 2012
Based on fifteen years of research, GLOCK is the riveting story of the weapon that in thirty brief years has become known as America’s gun. Today it is embraced by two-thirds of all police departments, has been glamorized in countless Hollywood movies and become a ubiquitous presence on prime-time TV, and has been rhapsodized by hip-hop artists and coveted by bad guys and cops 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 criminals with semiautomatic pistols. GLOCK is at once a fascinating account of how the Glock company went about marketing its pistol to police agencies and later gun enthusiasts – a story filled with politics, corporate intrigue, embezzlement, and extraordinary wealth – as well as a compelling chronicle of the evolution of gun culture in America.
“Paul Barrett's GLOCK is a fascinating and bizarre tale of an entrepreneur, a weapon, and a nation in love with guns.”—Jeffrey Toobin, staff writer for the New Yorker, CNN Analyst and author of the bestselling THE NINE
“GLOCK: The Rise of America's Gun is a great read. Very informative from both a technical and historical standpoint--warts and all.”—Frank A. DiNuzzo, Chief Firearm Instructor, New York State Police (ret.), and Chief Instructor, Glock, Inc. (ret.)
“This book--from a topnotch reporter--will enlighten you about both gun culture and business culture. It's fascinating, even-handed, and packs considerable punch!”—Bill McKibben, bestselling author of THE END OF NATURE, DEEP ECONOMY, THE AGE OF MISSING INFORMATION
“Succinct and fascinating.”—Carol Memmett, USA TODAY
“A riveting tale with masterful pacing and meticulous research. Paul Barrett knows his subject intimately, and it shows....I learned far more about Gaston Glock and his pistol in this book than I have gathered in 27 years as a firearm journalist and editor.”—Cameron Hopkins, editor-in-chief, Combat Tactics magazine; former editor-in-chief, American Handgunner magazine
“Smart and engrossing.”—Alexander Heffner, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE