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Book Title: Deadly Business: Sam Cummings, Interarms & The Arms Trade
Authors: Patrick Brogan/Albert Zarca
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0-393-01766-4

I've been hanging around the various incarnations of gunboards dot com since around y2k and have learned a great deal from all the good folks who contribute here. I don't have a history with guns, my first non-.22 rifle was bought in 1999. So the information I've learned here has been fascinating & new to me. Over time, I've seen references here to Sam Cummings & Interarms, mostly in posts about the "Good Ol' Days". When I saw this book on ebay, I bid on it but was unable to win the auction. I went to http://www.abebooks.com/ and found several used booksellers with copies in their inventory for less than I had bid. I bought a copy and have enjoyed reading this book.

What has been really interesting about it is that it ties together real closely to a great deal of info I've learned here on gunboards dot com. It fills in a few gaps, complements and confirms some things I've learned and gives a great deal more background information that supports the informtion posted over the last 4-5 years.

I'm not a good book reviewer so instead I'll just tell you how much I enjoyed the book and hope that someone else who has read DEADLY BUSINESS will chime in with more details. It is a great read, very hard to put down once you get started on it. It takes you from Sam Cummings youth through his employment with the CIA (not as a spook) and his big break involving accessing the stockpiles of arms throughout post WWII Europe and how he created Interarms. The book is largely laid out along a progressive timeline, but near the end skips around to the past and can be a wee bit confusing. Details of his purchases with many nations are told, as are tidbits of the various personalities involved, from despots to Ministers of Defense to competitors.

Sam Cummings was above all a good businessman. He was successful in the difficult area of private buying & selling of military arms. Despite many obstacles--governments, laws, competition, crooked politicians to name a few--he became wealthy and built a heck of a gun collection.

The authors of the book chose provocative blurbs on the covers and overleafs of the book. A quick glance may cause you to think the book tells a slanted story, one which demonizes Cummings and the arms trade. While the story between the covers does lean this way at times, it does so much less than the introduction and promotional quotes would lead you to believe. My prejudice of fascination with a guy selling millions of bolt action rifles may have caused me to miss some of the politically correctness in which the story is told, but I don't think it was too bad in this regard.

In summary, I enjoyed this book a great deal. I'll be rereading it shortly as there is so much info there it is difficult to retain as much as I'd like. Used copies are listed on the above referenced website for well under $10, plus shipping.
 
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