Glock by Paul M. Barrett
The Rise of America's Gun

80%

17 Critic Reviews

It’s rare for a nonfiction book to read like a thriller, but that’s what happens with “Glock.”
-Washington Times

Synopsis

Based on fifteen years of research, Glock is the riveting story of the weapon that has become known as American’s gun.  Today the Glock pistol has been embraced by two-thirds of all U.S. police departments, glamorized in countless Hollywood movies, and featured as a ubiquitous presence on prime-time TV. It has been rhapsodized by hip-hop artists, and coveted by cops and crooks 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 drug dealers with semi-automatic pistols. They needed a new gun.
 
When Karl Water, a firearm salesman based in the U.S. first saw a Glock in 1984, his reaction was, “Jeez, that’s ugly.” But the advantages of the pistol soon became apparent. The standard semi-automatic Glock could fire as many as 17 bullets from its magazine without reloading (one equipped with an extended thirty-three cartridge magazine was used in Tucson to shoot Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others). It was built with only 36 parts that were interchangeable with those of other models. You could drop it underwater, toss it from a helicopter, or leave it out in the snow, and it would still fire. It was reliable, accurate, lightweight, and cheaper to produce than Smith and Wesson’s revolver. Made in part of hardened plastic, it was even rumored (incorrectly) to be invisible to airport security screening.
 
Filled with corporate intrigue, political maneuvering, Hollywood glitz, bloody shoot-outs—and an attempt on Gaston Glock’s life by a former lieutenant—Glock is at once the inside account of how Glock the company went about marketing its pistol to police agencies and later the public, as well as a compelling chronicle of the evolution of gun culture in America.
 

About Paul M. Barrett

See more books from this Author
PAUL M. BARRETT is an assistant managing editor of Bloomberg Businessweek. He is the author of American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion and The Good Black: A True Story of Race in America. Barrett lives and works in New York City. For more information, go to GlockTheBook.com.
 
Published January 10, 2012 by Broadway Books. 306 pages
Genres: History, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, War, Sports & Outdoors, Nature & Wildlife. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Glock
All: 17 | Positive: 14 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Good
on Oct 11 2011

A solidly reported story of a modern-day Samuel Colt who transformed the handgun business.

Read Full Review of Glock: The Rise of America's Gun | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Michael Washburn on Jan 27 2012

“Glock” is weaker when Barrett moves away from the lawyers, guns and money and explores “Glock culture.”...Slack and underreported, these sections feel aimless...

Read Full Review of Glock: The Rise of America's Gun | See more reviews from NY Times

Publishers Weekly

Good
on Oct 31 2011

...a well-oiled, fact-packed, and fast-paced history of the Glock...

Read Full Review of Glock: The Rise of America's Gun | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

WSJ online

Excellent
on Jan 17 2012

...whatever one's taste in firearms, and even if one has no taste for them at all, Mr. Barrett's book is a fascinating look at one man's extraordinary success.

Read Full Review of Glock: The Rise of America's Gun | See more reviews from WSJ online

Washington Times

Excellent
on Jan 23 2012

It’s rare for a nonfiction book to read like a thriller, but that’s what happens with “Glock.”

Read Full Review of Glock: The Rise of America's Gun | See more reviews from Washington Times

The Washington Post

Below average
on Dec 15 2011

...Barrett’s deeming of Glock as “America’s gun” is uncomfortable for many firearms enthusiasts...

Read Full Review of Glock: The Rise of America's Gun

USA Today

Good
on Jan 04 2012

Glock: The Rise of America's Gun by Paul M. Barrett...is a succinct and fascinating study...

Read Full Review of Glock: The Rise of America's Gun

Dallas News

Good
on Jan 13 2012

...every chapter is interesting, deep thinkers...will find the final chapter especially stimulating

Read Full Review of Glock: The Rise of America's Gun

San Francisco Chronicle

Good
on Jan 08 2012

Barrett...not only describes the gun's evolution...but also weaves in the social context of the Glock's exponential growth on the American scene...

Read Full Review of Glock: The Rise of America's Gun

Macleans

Good
Reviewed by Brian Bethune on Jan 26 2012

...the company’s brief history also includes a crooked financial adviser who attempted to assassinate—with a mallet, not a pistol—Gaston Glock, now a billionaire. For an Austrian gun, it’s a very American story.

Read Full Review of Glock: The Rise of America's Gun

Huntington News

Good
on Sep 25 2012

Based on fifteen years of research, Barrett's book chronicles the weapon that has become known as American’s gun.

Read Full Review of Glock: The Rise of America's Gun

Jacksonville.com

Excellent
on Jan 22 2012

Barrett gives us an all-access pass to the ways of international finance...Anyone interested in modern firearms (or marketing) should give this book a go.

Read Full Review of Glock: The Rise of America's Gun

North Jersey

Below average
on Feb 08 2012

The book fires its only blank when it unconvincingly loads cultural and social messages into the story of Glock’s success.

Read Full Review of Glock: The Rise of America's Gun

Los Angeles Review of Books

Excellent
on Sep 21 2012

PAUL BARRETT WILL MAKE YOU THINK twice about gun control in this country. He may even get you to change your position, or at least better understand the other side’s point of view.

Read Full Review of Glock: The Rise of America's Gun

TODAY'S ZAMAN

Good
on Feb 27 2012

...the fascinating story of a gun that overtook all competitors in the market in a very short time.

Read Full Review of Glock: The Rise of America's Gun

Red State

Excellent
on Feb 05 2012

This book could plausibly be on the required reading list for business, marketing, political science and sociology curriculums.

Read Full Review of Glock: The Rise of America's Gun

The Truth About Guns

Excellent
on Sep 25 2011

...Glock offers a tantalizing glimpse of the man behind the curtain.

Read Full Review of Glock: The Rise of America's Gun

Reader Rating for Glock
80%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 635 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×