The United States and Biological Warfare

The United States and Biological Warfare

Secrets from the Early Cold War and Korea
Stephen Endicott and Edward Hagerman
Distribution: World
Publication date: 1/1/1999
Format: cloth 304 pages, 62 b&w photos, 4 figures, 7 maps
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-33472-5
Bookmark and Share

 Add to Wish List 
Buy from Amazon


[The United States and Biological Warfare] is a major contribution to our understanding of the past involvement by the US and Japanese governments with BW, with important, crucial implications for the future. . . . Pieces of this story, including the Korean War allegations, have been told before, but never so authoritatively, and with such a convincing foundation in historical research. . . . This is a brave and significant scholarly contribution on a matter of great importance to the future of humanity.
—Richard Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law and Practice, Princeton University

The United States and Biological Warfare argues persuasively that the United States experimented with and deployed biological weapons during the Korean War. Endicott and Hagerman explore the political and moral dimensions of this issue, asking what restraints were applied or forgotten in those years of ideological and political passion and military crisis.

For the first time, there is hard evidence that the United States lied both to Congress and the American public in saying that the American biological warfare program was purely defensive and for retaliation only. The truth is that a large and sophisticated biological weapons system was developed as an offensive weapon of opportunity in the post-World War II years. From newly declassified American, Canadian, and British documents, and with the cooperation of the Chinese Central Archives in giving the authors the first access by foreigners to relevant classified documents, Endicott and Hagerman have been able to tell the previously hidden story of the extension of the limits of modern war to include the use of medical science, the most morally laden of sciences with respect to the sanctity of human life. They show how the germ warfare program developed collaboratively by Great Britain, Canada, and the United States during the Second World War, together with information gathered from the Japanese at the end of World War II about their biological warfare technology, was incorporated into an ongoing development program in the United States. Startling evidence from both Chinese and American sources is presented to make the case.

An important book for anyone interested in the history and morality of modern warfare.

Author Bio

Stephen Endicott was born in Shanghai of missionary parents and grew up in China before the Communist revolution. His family lived in Sichuan province for three generations where he returned to teach in the 1980s. Dr. Endicott, who is a graduate of the University of Toronto, has received the Killam Senior Fellowship and other academic awards while teaching East Asian history at York University. His books include Diplomacy and Enterprise: British China Policy 1933-1937, James G. Endicott: Rebel Out of China, and Red Earth: Revolution in a Sichuan Village.
Edward Hagerman is a member of the history faculty of York University in Toronto. He has published many articles on the origins of modern war and modern total war, and has contributed to textbooks for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff college, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the Air War College of the U.S. Air Force. He has authored The American Civil War and the Origins of Modern Warfare.

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents

List of maps, tables, photo credits
Chapter 1. Aches and Fevers in China and Korea
Chapter 2. Second World War Origins
Chapter 3. The Japanese Connection
Chapter 4. The Secretary of Defense and Revival of a Program
Chapter 5. Research and Development 1945-1953
Chapter 6. Plans and Missions
Chapter 7. Korea: a limited war?
Chapter 8. Psychological Warfare and the 581st ARC Wing
Chapter 9. The CIA in the Korean War
Chapter 10. Insect Vectors in Occupied Japan: Unit 406
Chapter 11. The Flyers
Chapter 12. Conclusion
Bibliographic Notes