"In this compelling history of one weapon's outsized impact on the world, [Hodges] not only explores the AK's crucial role in high-profile war zones like Vietnam and Iraq but also examines the travails of 'Kalashnikov societies'...Vivid accounts of the gun's horrific efficacy propel the book along."-- "The New Yorker" "In a lively but chilling investigative history, British journalist Hodges examines the legacy of the 'most ubiquitous gun in the world'...Hodges knows how to keep his thorough, eye-opening narrative moving, even as he hopscotches to nearly every conflict zone of the past 60 years...this pop-history page-turner should appeal to anyone interested in military history or international conflict."-- "Publishers Weekly" STARRED review .,."[an] absorbing book."-- "Newsweek" "[A] remarkable, thorough account of the assault rifle that is the icon of insurgents the world over."-- "Los Angeles Times" "[Hodges] examines the meteoric ascension of this simple, affordable and highly effective assault weapon into a global brand on par with Big Macs and the Nike swoosh...In vivid dispatches from the world's least-secure places, where the trail of bodies is piled knee-deep, Hodges reveals this 60-year-old killing machine to be, if nothing else, a survivor."-- "Time Out New York" .,."fascinating...In brisk and vivid prose, Hodges traces the AK47's history through interviews and site visits...It's hardly an agreeable picture, to be sure, but one we need to see, and Hodges is to be commended for presenting it so well."-- Mobile Press-Register "Hodges takes his willing readers on the winding, turbulent, and terror-laden journey of the infamousrifle...both compelling and horrifying...Hodges report on the AK fuels its readers with a contagious sort of fascination for the gun's enduring prowess. It is a vicious and fiery fuel that Hodges ignites in his readers, one that raises questions, churns the stomach, and ultimately compels us to turn the page."-- "The Brooklyn Rail" "This is a book about a contemporary phenomenon that is crucially important, utterly terrifying, and largely ignored...[it] charts the spread of the titular weapon--especially in Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia--and the ways in which the gun virtually guarantees the continued implosion of failed states and the intensification of terrorist violence."-- BookForum .,."terse [and] effective...The slim, fast-paced book is an effective meditation on the relationship among violence, politics, and the crude, ubiquitous, small-arms technology."-- "Time Out Chicago"