Tear Gas by Anna Feigenbaum
From the Battlefields of WWI to the Streets of Today

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Feigenbaum’s Tear Gas is an impressive elaboration of how this dichotomy manifests itself in day to day life, a critique of concentrated corruption in American-style capitalism, by explaining who tear gas is designed, sold, and deployed by, who it is used against, and why.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

The story of how a chemical weapon went from the battlefield to the streets

One hundred years ago, French troops fired tear gas grenades into German trenches. Designed to force people out from behind barricades and trenches, tear gas causes burning of the eyes and skin, tearing, and gagging. Chemical weapons are now banned from war zones. But today, tear gas has become the most commonly used form of “less-lethal” police force. In 2011, the year that protests exploded from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street, tear gas sales tripled. Most tear gas is produced in the United States, and many images of protestors in Tahrir Square showed tear gas canisters with “Made in USA” printed on them, while Britain continues to sell tear gas to countries on its own human-rights blacklist.

An engrossing century-spanning nar-rative, Tear Gas is the first history of this weapon, and takes us from military labs and chemical weapons expos to union assemblies and protest camps, drawing on declassified reports and witness testimonies to show how policing with poison came to be.
 

About Anna Feigenbaum

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Published November 7, 2017 by Verso. 224 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, War, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
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NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Matthew Vernon Whalan on Nov 17 2017

Feigenbaum’s Tear Gas is an impressive elaboration of how this dichotomy manifests itself in day to day life, a critique of concentrated corruption in American-style capitalism, by explaining who tear gas is designed, sold, and deployed by, who it is used against, and why.

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