|Pages/Publication Date:||285 / 2016|
The author of Stiff, Spook, Bonk, and Packing for Mars, the brilliantly informative and entertaining Mary Roach here explores the science of keeping human beings intact, awake, sane, uninfected, and uninfested in war. Roach dodges hostile fire with the U.S. Marine Corps Paintball Team as part of a study on hearing loss and survivability in combat, learns why a zipper is a problem for a sniper, and visits a studio where amputee actors help prepare Marine Corps medics for the shock and gore of combat wounds. She also samples caffeinated meat, sniffs an archival sample of a World War II stink bomb, and stays up all night with the crew tending the missiles on the nuclear submarine Tennessee. Roach answers questions not found in any other book on the military: Why is DARPA interested in ducks? How is a wedding gown like a bomb suit? And why are shrimp more dangerous to sailors than sharks?
"Roach does it again. Amid all the debates about the military-industrial complex in our country, its impact on medicine, invention, and other scientific pursuits is often overlooked. Roach interviews those in science-related military careers, employing her cockeyed sense of humor and awing readers with what she uncovers."—School Library Journal