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Deadly Cultures

Deadly Cultures

Biological Weapons since 1945

Edited by Mark Wheelis, Lajos Rózsa, and Malcolm Dando

ISBN 9780674045132

Publication date: 07/01/2009

The threat of biological weapons has never attracted as much public attention as in the past five years. Current concerns largely relate to the threat of weapons acquisition and use by rogue states or by terrorists. But the threat has deeper roots--it has been evident for fifty years that biological agents could be used to cause mass casualties and large-scale economic damage. Yet there has been little historical analysis of such weapons over the past half-century.

Deadly Cultures sets out to fill this gap by analyzing the historical developments since 1945 and addressing three central issues: Why have states continued or begun programs for acquiring biological weapons? Why have states terminated biological weapons programs? How have states demonstrated that they have truly terminated their biological weapons programs?

We now live in a world in which the basic knowledge needed to develop biological weapons is more widely available than ever before. Deadly Cultures provides the lessons from history that we urgently need in order to strengthen the long-standing prohibition of biological weapons.


  • Deadly Cultures provides an indispensable history of biological weapons and warfare since the end of World War II. Written by internationally prominent experts, it contains invaluable information and insights.

    —Jonathan B. Tucker, Ph.D. Senior Research Fellow Center for Nonproliferation Studies


  • Mark Wheelis is Senior Lecturer in the Section of Microbiology at the University of California, Davis.
  • Lajos Rózsa is senior researcher, Animal Ecology Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary.
  • Malcolm Dando is Professor of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, England.

Book Details

  • Harvard University Press