Title: The Biology Of Doom: America's Secret Germ Warfare Project
Abstract: From anthrax to botulism, from smallpox to Ebola, the threat of biological destruction is rapidly overtaking our collective fear of atomic weaponry. This riveting narrative traces America's own covert biological weapons program from its origins in World War II to its abrupt cancellation in 1969. In light of America's increasing surveillance and condemnation of foreign biological weapons programs, this exposé of America's own dangerous Cold War secret is both fascinating and shocking. The project, at its peak, employed 5,000 people and tested pathogens on 2,000 live human volunteers; conducted open-air tests on American soil; sprayed our cities with bacterial aerosols; and stockpiled millions of bacterial bombs for instant deployment. Yet, surprisingly, almost nothing has been published about this project until now. This is the first book to expose the true story of America's secret program to create biological weapons of mass destruction.
Publishers Weekly Review
Regis (Virus Ground Zero, etc.) presents a thorough, frightening look at America's biological warfare program, from its inception during the late 1930s through the 1980s. He covers all the bases in looking at the strategic and scientific developments of biological warfare both in the U.S. and among its principal adversaries, including Japan, Germany and Russia. The topic is gruesome: Regis reveals that humans, as well as guinea pigs, rhesus monkeys and other animals, were exposed to live infectious agents. Bombs were created to remain underwater, then surface and spray out germs; tests were done on the efficacy of fleas as agents to carry plague. Regis writes for the layperson, and he is careful to depict the human dramas behind the science. He writes, for instance, of the scientist who tested psychotropic agents on unwitting co-workers and of the University of Wisconsin professor who had been drafted into the war effort and found it impossible to get out (as Regis puts it, "being in the profession was all too much like being in the Mafia: once you were in, you were in for good"). Along his way to reporting this important and underdiscussed aspect of the Cold War, Regis offers a great deal of startling evidence on the use of biological agents during the Korean conflictAand, also disturbing, that America used data from Japanese biological warfare tests done on Manchurian criminals. (Nov.)
Scientific American Review
Scientific American Regis ... interested himself in what the U.S. and other countries did during and after World War II to develop methods of biological warfare. With the aid of the Freedom of Information Act, he obtained more than 2,000 pages of formerly secret U.S. government documents on the subject. They form the foundation of this account, which traces the U.S. biological weapons program from its inception in 1942 to its termination by President Richard Nixon in 1969 ... By then, according to Regis, "the U.S. Army had officially standardized and weaponized two lethal biological agents, Bacillus anthracis and Francisella tularensis, and three incapacitating biological agents, Brucella suis, Coxiella burnetii, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus. The Army had also weaponized one lethal toxin, botulinum, and one incapacitating toxin, staphylococcal enterotoxin B." ... Notwithstanding all this activity ... nations have so far avoided serious biological warfare. Regis thinks the reason is that biological weapons lack "the single most important ingredient of any effective weapon, an immediate visual display of overwhelming power and brute strength" (Amazon, 2012).