Glock

  • by Paul M. Barrett
  • Narrated by Kiff VandenHeuvel
  • 8 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Based on 15 years of research, Glock is the riveting story of the weapon that has become known as America’s gun. Today the Glock pistol has been embraced by two-thirds of all U.S. police departments, glamorized in countless Hollywood movies, and featured as a ubiquitous presence on prime-time TV. It has been rhapsodized by hip-hop artists, and coveted by cops and crooks alike.
Created in 1982 by Gaston Glock, an obscure Austrian curtain-rod manufacturer, and swiftly adopted by the Austrian army, the Glock pistol, with its lightweight plastic frame and large-capacity spring-action magazine, arrived in America at a fortuitous time. Law enforcement agencies had concluded that their agents and officers, armed with standard six-round revolvers, were getting "outgunned" by drug dealers with semi-automatic pistols. They needed a new gun.
When Karl Water, a firearm salesman based in the U.S. first saw a Glock in 1984, his reaction was, “Jeez, that’s ugly.” But the advantages of the pistol soon became apparent. The standard semi-automatic Glock could fire as many as 17 bullets from its magazine without reloading. (One equipped with an extended 33 cartridge magazine was used in Tucson to shoot Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others). It was built with only 36 parts that were interchangeable with those of other models. You could drop it underwater, toss it from a helicopter, or leave it out in the snow, and it would still fire. It was reliable, accurate, lightweight, and cheaper to produce than Smith and Wesson’s revolver. Made in part of hardened plastic, it was even rumored (incorrectly) to be invisible to airport security screening.
Filled with corporate intrigue, political maneuvering, Hollywood glitz, bloody shoot-outs - and an attempt on Gaston Glock’s life by a former lieutenant - Glock is at once the inside account of how Glock the company went about marketing its pistol to police agencies and later the public, as well as a compelling chronicle of the evolution of gun culture in America.

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What the Critics Say

“This book - from a top-notch reporter - will enlighten you about both gun culture and business culture. It’s fascinating, even-handed, and packs considerable punch!” (Bill McKibben, best-selling author of The End of Nature, Deep Economy, and The Age of Missing Information)
Glock is a riveting tale with masterful pacing and meticulous research. Paul Barrett knows his subject intimately, and it shows.... It’s a must-read for anyone with an interest in handguns or the firearm industry or even American pop culture.” (Cameron Hopkins, editor in chief, Combat Tactics magazine; American Rifleman’s Industry Insider blog)
“With his customary insight and crystal-clear style, Paul Barrett has told the story of how a simple toolmaker from Austria came to be the dominant force in the manufacture and sale of pistols in the United States.... Glock is not at all just for the gun enthusiast. This book is for anyone concerned about the level of gun violence in America, and that should be all of us.” (Richard Aborn, president, Citizens Crime Commission of New York City; former president, Handgun Control, Inc.)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great indepth book

Would you listen to Glock again? Why?

Yes I would, and I have! It is informative, in depth, and very revealing about the inner workings of one of the biggest firearms manufacturers in the world, love um or hate um the business qualities of this book alone are fantastic!


What other book might you compare Glock to and why?

There's really nothing else like Glock out there. Maybe a few books on modifying or gunsmithing but nothing about the company. This book is one of a kind.


What about Kiff VandenHeuvel’s performance did you like?

Smooth inflection all the way through


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, and I was lucky enough to work in a job where I was able to listen to it all the way through. And listened to it a couple more times that week just for the basics of the book!


Any additional comments?

Great book but there needs to be an updated version! Theres new rumbling in the Glock company regarding division and removal of Glock family members because of Gaston's new wife who was his nurse when he had a heart attack or something.

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- Clifton

Not a gun Nut? This is a case study in business

Gaston Glock is the Bill Gates of guns. This is a case study of a unique upstart.
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- David

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-10-2012
  • Publisher: Random House Audio