Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Robert M. Neer

Robert M. Neer is an attorney and Core Lecturer in the History Department at Columbia University.

His new book is Napalm: An American Biography.

From Neer's Q & A with Mark Thompson for Time:

What is the bottom line in your new book, Napalm: An American Biography?

Napalm was born a hero but lives a pariah.

Its story shows how defeat on the battlefield, grassroots protest, vilification in popular culture, regulation under international law, development of alternative weapons, and the rise of a global civilian culture can constrain military power.

Why did you pick that particular subtitle, “An American Biography”?

First, because this is napalm’s life story, from its birth on Valentine’s Day 1942 to President Barack Obama’s signature on his first full day in office of the first U.S. treaty to limit its use.

Second, because it is an American weapon: it was invented in America and has been used longer, more widely, and to greater effect by the United States than any other country.

Third, because this is a story of America, from global authority at the end of World War II to...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue