One of Hello Giggles' "Top Books to Get Your Dad for Christmas"—-
Praise for Hellfire Boys
"Through dogged reporting and a clear-eyed journey back through a world of secrets that are literally toxic, Theo Emery has dispassionately constructed an astonishing narrative of the scientists and soldiers who were tasked with winning a horrible war a century ago. Refusing to allow our modern revulsion of chemical weapons (however well-founded) to shape his extraordinary narrative, Emery--like all good historians--is determined to let the era of his subject speak for itself."—Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author of In the Kingdom of Ice, Ghost Soldiers, Hellhound
"A fascinating and deeply researched account of how America reinvented its military--and itself--in its first modern global war. Theo Emery combines science, history, and character-driven drama to illuminate some of the darkest aspects of our national past."
—Beverly Gage, author of The Day Wall Street Exploded and Professor of History and American Studies a
"Brims with shock and surprise... Through squarely a crackling history, Hellfire Boys is also a relevant primer on the past 100 years and on a kind of total warmaking that continues to haunt us--sometimes from another hemisphere, sometimes in our own back yard."—Dan Zak, Washington Post
"Moving crisply between stateside turf wars and battlefront combat, this well-written and well-researched slice of history will appeal to virtually any history or war buff."
—Library Journal (starred review)
"Even military buffs will learn from this intensely researched, often unnerving account.... Readers will share Emery's lack of nostalgia for this half-forgotten weapon, but they will admire this satisfying combination of technical background, battlefield fireworks, biographies of colorful major figures, and personal anecdotes from individual soldiers."
"Journalist Emery offers a useful and absorbing reminder that, a century earlier, it was a different weapon of mass destruction that terrified both soldiers and civilians... This is a timely and often unsettling examination of a previously well-hidden government program."
"Illuminating... Emery zeroes in on a little-known and sparsely documented moment in the history of chemical warfare."
—The National Book Rivew