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Glock: The Rise of America's Gun | [Paul M. Barrett]

Glock: The Rise of America'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.
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Publisher's Summary

Based on 15 years of research, Glock is the riveting story of the weapon that has become known as America’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 33 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.

©2012 Paul M. Barrett (P)2012 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

“This book - from a top-notch reporter - will enlighten you about both gun culture and business culture. It’s fascinating, even-handed, and packs considerable punch!” (Bill McKibben, best-selling author of The End of Nature, Deep Economy, and The Age of Missing Information)

Glock is a riveting tale with masterful pacing and meticulous research. Paul Barrett knows his subject intimately, and it shows.... It’s a must-read for anyone with an interest in handguns or the firearm industry or even American pop culture.” (Cameron Hopkins, editor in chief, Combat Tactics magazine; American Rifleman’s Industry Insider blog)

“With his customary insight and crystal-clear style, Paul Barrett has told the story of how a simple toolmaker from Austria came to be the dominant force in the manufacture and sale of pistols in the United States.... Glock is not at all just for the gun enthusiast. This book is for anyone concerned about the level of gun violence in America, and that should be all of us.” (Richard Aborn, president, Citizens Crime Commission of New York City; former president, Handgun Control, Inc.)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (182 )
5 star
 (91)
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4.3 (164 )
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4.4 (162 )
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Performance
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  •  
    David Diamond Bar, CA, United States 01-28-12
    David Diamond Bar, CA, United States 01-28-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    "Not a gun Nut? This is a case study in business"

    Gaston Glock is the Bill Gates of guns. This is a case study of a unique upstart.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 08-06-12
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 08-06-12 Member Since 2010

    I am an avid eclectic reader.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "All you want to know about the Glock"

    This book was recommended by someone I follow so thought I would give it a try. I was interested because all types of books I read, from spy stories to murder mysteries,the Glock is mentioned, As I knew nothing about the Glock I thought this book would educate me, which it did. This book is well researched and gives an in-depth history of the gun. It goes into the business of gun manufacturing and sales in great detail. I found it interesting when the request went out for a new gun design the established companies looked at the requirements and said it could not be done and the outsider with no gun knowledge Gaston Glock designed a gun to meet the government requirements. A good lesson for old established companies that you have to hire new engineering blood and keep pushing the R/D departments. The book also covered the gun culture in America and a company must have something Americas want to buy as the rest of the world has less interest in guns. The book also covered the gun politics in the USA. I do hope that Smith and Westin, Colt and the other US gun manufacture get it together and design guns to compete. Kiff VanderHeuvel did a good job narrating the story.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clifton everett, WA, United States 04-30-12
    Clifton everett, WA, United States 04-30-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great indepth book"
    Would you listen to Glock again? Why?

    Yes I would, and I have! It is informative, in depth, and very revealing about the inner workings of one of the biggest firearms manufacturers in the world, love um or hate um the business qualities of this book alone are fantastic!


    What other book might you compare Glock to and why?

    There's really nothing else like Glock out there. Maybe a few books on modifying or gunsmithing but nothing about the company. This book is one of a kind.


    What about Kiff VandenHeuvel’s performance did you like?

    Smooth inflection all the way through


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, and I was lucky enough to work in a job where I was able to listen to it all the way through. And listened to it a couple more times that week just for the basics of the book!


    Any additional comments?

    Great book but there needs to be an updated version! Theres new rumbling in the Glock company regarding division and removal of Glock family members because of Gaston's new wife who was his nurse when he had a heart attack or something.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Payne League City, TX, US 02-13-12
    Donna Payne League City, TX, US 02-13-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    2
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    "Interesting but dry at times."
    What did you like best about Glock? What did you like least?

    It is a fairly comprehensive log about the rise of Glock.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The marketing strategies as well as the relationship of the well-being of the companie to governmental legislation.


    Could you see Glock being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Brown 05-19-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes! Fantastic recount of the birth of one of the greatest pistols ever created.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It doesn't read like a documentary. It really tells a story alongside offering all the information you could ever ask for about Glock.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Every chapter is fantastic.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes! It was difficult to have to take a break.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this to anyone who is a Glock enthusiast or anyone who is interested in handguns. I will be listening to it again, I'm sure!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CBlox Las Vegas, NV 02-25-12
    CBlox Las Vegas, NV 02-25-12 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story"

    This book had everything. Business, guns, greed, pride, money, sex, history with a great twist near the end!
    listen to this book regardless if you like handguns.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Newark, IL, United States 02-26-12
    Adam Newark, IL, United States 02-26-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The gun the changed America"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Glock to be better than the print version?

    Glock is a book about the maker of the gun as much as the gun itself. The story goes into great detail of the genius of the American marketer and how he was treated by Goustov Glock and the politics of the time when the Glock replaced the Smith and Wesson revolver.
    The gun really does shine as a unique weapon among the tried and true revolver and the other semi auto revolvers.
    The author covers every issue this gun was involved in including the corporations ability to move from country to country to skirt tax laws, the NRA hard lines, the gun control lobby fear tactics, the governments weak gun laws, and the lawsuits from gun owners who accidentally shoot themselves and expect to be compensated.
    I really enjoyed the research and conclusions drawn by the author who also revealed his own feelings towards gun control, safety, training and necessity.


    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John E. Blackford Winder, GA 09-11-13
    John E. Blackford Winder, GA 09-11-13 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Authors, Please Get It Right!"
    Where does Glock rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    80th percentile.


    Have you listened to any of Kiff VandenHeuvel’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Sit still for 8 hours? I don't think so!


    Any additional comments?

    This book was filled with interesting facts and figures regarding the Glock pistol and the narration was first rate. I consider myself a gun guy and maybe I'm picking nits here, but the author occasionally uses the term "clip" interchangeably with "magazine". To call a pistol ammunition magazine a clip in this otherwise fine book is, to me, akin to watching a fine symphony performance while a guy in the corner is scratching his fingernails on a blackboard!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D Marin Miami, FL 02-04-13
    D Marin Miami, FL 02-04-13

    Debbie

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very informative & intriguing!"
    Where does Glock rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I give this audible book an excellent rating as the narrator was clear and kept the interest and intrigue of the listener.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Glock?

    The synergy of his company that set the pace for the flood of sales targeted to police departments in the US along with his brilliance in engineering such a phenomenal weapon that made GLOCK a recognized name in America


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There were many and not one in particular


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Story behind the world of GLOCK


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy P. Lyons Madison, NJ 12-23-12
    Timothy P. Lyons Madison, NJ 12-23-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great listen for business people and gun owners!"
    What did you love best about Glock?

    The book provided great insight into the origins of the company, as well as its struggles and successes. As both a gun owner and as someone in the business world, I enjoyed hearing about the early struggles and successes of a world renowned company and its people.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story provided a fascinating background into Gaston Glock's invention, as well as its spread into prominence in the US. The story also dives into the lives and history of Charles Ewert and Paul Jannuzzo who lived fascinating lives.


    Have you listened to any of Kiff VandenHeuvel’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not listened to any other performance by Kiff VandenHeuvel.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If I had ten hours, I would have listened to this straight through. But as a commuter, I couldn't wait to get in my car to hear what came next.


    Any additional comments?

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would be happy to give anything else from Paul Barrett or Kiff VandenHeuvel in the future.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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