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Publisher's Summary

From drones to satellites, missile defense systems to cyber warfare, Israel is leading the world when it comes to new technology being deployed on the modern battlefield. The Weapon Wizards shows how this tiny nation of 8,000,000 learned to adapt to the changes in warfare and in the defense industry and become the new prototype of a 21st century superpower, not in size, but rather in innovation and efficiency - and as a result of its long war experience. Sitting on the front lines of how wars are fought in the 21st century, Israel has developed in its arms trade new weapons and retrofitted old ones so they remain effective, relevant, and deadly on a constantly-changing battlefield. While other countries begin to prepare for these challenges, they are looking to Israel - and specifically its weapons - for guidance. Israel is, in effect, a laboratory for the rest of the world. How did Israel do it? And what are the military and geopolitical implications of these developments? These are some of the key questions Yaakov Katz and Amir Bohbot address. Drawing on a vast amount of research, and unparalleled access to the Israeli defense establishment, this book is a report directly from the front lines.

©2017 Yaakov Katz and Amir Bohbot (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"An enlightening look into one of the less-familiar corners of the modern military world." ( Kirkus)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars

Good Overview, May Overstate Level of Innovation

Overall this was very well done. the book suffers a little from overstating the uniqueness of some Israeli weapons programs. For example, the chapter on the Iron Dome seems to ignore the fact that the Patriot system was developed by the U.S. prior to the first Gulf War, and was actually deployed in Israel during that conflict. While a good case can be made for the superiority of the Iron Dome system as a short-range ballistic middle interceptor, the authors write the chapter on the Iron Dome almost as if the Patriot system did not exist long before the Iron Dome. More nuance would improve the material. On a stylistic note, the word "chutzpah" is overused, and the narrator's monolithic impression of all Israeli males is a bit overdone.
Overall, however, the book is good, and I recommend it.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 03-23-18

Riveting

This book has been sitting on my “to read pile” for some time. I am glad I read this book after I read the biography “The Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel” by Francine Klagsbrun. After reading about Golda’s struggles to obtain weapons, it paints the background for this book. This book discusses the evolution of Israel’s military weapons. It tells how the military had to create and manufacture its own weapons and also how they had to modify purchased weapons for their particular type of warfare and desert conditions. The author tells about testing the French Mirages to building drones, handguns and machine guns to cyber warfare.

The book is well written and researched. The authors not only tell the history of weapons but also the current state of research and development. It tells of the mindset of the people who are under constant pressure from surrounding countries that want to annihilate them. I found the section about drones fascinating. This book is not for everyone; but, for those interested in the research and development of military weapons, it is a fascinating book.

The book is about nine and a half hours. Paul Boehmer does a good job narrating the book. Boehmer is an actor, voice-over artist and audiobook narrator.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating

Thoroughly enjoyed fascinating look into Israel’s weapons development. Sometimes even surprised at some of the details shared. Well read by the narrator.

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summary: Israel stronk israel best

what is this the equivalent of the "little red book"? I got this for an unbiased evaluation of Israeli military tactical and platform evolution...what i got was an earful of drum beating self congratulatory horn tooting propaganda. According to this book the Israel if the middle East is a military superpower who's innovation and combat prowess are second to none. Thanks to chutzpah, an elastic social structure, chutzpah, non linear innovative thinking, chutzpah, and self reliance Israel has leaped to the forefront of military innovation on an international scale....oh and they did it using sheer chutzpah in case i forgot to include that (seriously i think they emphasize it too the point of redundancy). Now while much of this is factually correct it is inherently misrepresented as being the biological offspring of Israeli RnD when it is more correct to qualify it as a re imagining or repurposing other previously developed systems to Israel's specific needs. The use of UAVs and real time military feeds as well as the iron dome missile defense system are all prime examples. The IAF is basically a western European and American conglomeration of military aircraft made to Israel's specifications. It's not as if the nation is churning out 5th gen stealth fighters, overall an intersting book....one best thought of as an airburst of slightly propagandized chutzpah.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Wras
  • 11-10-17

Weapons systems to survive.


When all your neighbours want you dead and you have nowhere else to go, you become a victim or you develop some defences that will assure your survival.
A very interesting book that describes the reasons Israel is a weapons developer far beyond its demographics would lead you to expect and how they have managed to get there.
Full of anecdotes and a with a bit of boastfulness the authors take us through a little of the history of Israel and some of the reasons some of their systems for battle have been developed and also who is buying some of this platform.
A very interesting book that is also a good example of what can be achieved when survival is the motivator.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Reader From Aus
  • 09-20-17

Interesting

An excellent book that gives a good, relatively up to date overview of the israeli military and arms industry. Includes areas on arms sales, drones, tank developement etc.

Some armchair generals may find they already know the details, but in an area (arms sales and tech.) generally overshadowed by a flood of information regarding US projects, I found this small nations ability to innovate quite impressive.