Gift guide: 7 books for weapons, military enthusiasts

Gun guides, nuclear weapon investigations and Pentagon secrets top this list of must-read books for weapon and military buffs


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By Rachel Engel

Is there a military buff or veteran on your Christmas gift list this year? Check out this list of books on weapons, military history and warfare — there’s something for everyone.

"Gun Digest 2016" by Jerry Lee, $22.32 

Some reviews reference the book as the “gun Bible,” so that should paint a picture of the type of information you’re able to find in this book. From rifles to handguns to shotguns and accessories, this book has it all, and, in detail, discusses which is the “best of the best,” and why. This is the 70th edition of Gun Digest, fully updated for models released in 2016.

"Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident and the Illusion of Safety" by Eric Schlosser, $10.17 

For anyone fascinated by the Cold War and the complications of a nuclear-armed world, this book is for you. “Famed investigative journalist Eric Schlosser digs deep to uncover secrets about the management of America’s nuclear arsenal. A groundbreaking account of accidents, near misses, extraordinary heroism, and technological breakthroughs, Command and Control explores the dilemma that has existed since the dawn of the nuclear age: How do you deploy weapons of mass destruction without being destroyed by them?”

"The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency" by Annie Jacobsen, $21.69

In The Pentagon's Brain, author Annie Jacobsen delves into DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency. "This is the book on DARPA — a compelling narrative about this clandestine intersection of science and the American military and the often frightening results."

"The Complete Guide To Tanks & Armored Fighting Vehicles" by George Forty and Jack Livesey, $14.95

A definitive listing and history of tanks and AFVs from the turn of the 20th century to today, The Complete Guide To Tanks belongs on the (digital) book shelf of any warfare or military weapons enthusiast. From tank destroyers to bridgelayers to mine-clearers and self propelled artillery, this book has it all. 

"Weapons of War Battleships & Aircraft Carriers 1900-Present" by Michael Spilling, $9.99

Included is 150 color and black & white photographs and illustrations of the most impressive warships over the last 100 years. "The book includes some of the great capital ships, such as the battleships Bismarck and Iowa, the carriers Enterprise and Formidable, and the missile destroyer Canberra.

"Hunter Killer: Inside America's Unmanned Air War" by T. Mark Mccurley and Kevin Maurer, $17.79

There are dozens of news stories every day about America's use of drones as the military increasingly relies on unmanned aircraft to fight wars. Hunter Killer takes the reader inside the U.S. military's Remotely Piloted Aircraft Program: the aviators and aircraft that have changed a generation's view of war. "This is the first account by an RPA pilot, told from his unique-in-history vantage point supporing and executing Tier One counterterrorism missions."

"100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative's Guide to Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation" by Clint Emerson, $10.96

Former Navy SEAL Clint Emerson authors this survival guide brimming with skills, tactics and maneuvers used by some of the military's most elite warriors. "This complete course in survival teaches you how to prevent tracking, evade a kidnapping, elude an active shooter, rappel down the side ofa building, immobilize a bad guy, protect yoruself against cyber-criminals, and much more — all using low-tech to 'no-tech' methods."

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