Chemical Heroes

Pharmacological Supersoldiers in the US Military

Chemical Heroes

Global Insecurities

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Book Pages: 304 Illustrations: 31 illustrations Published: December 2020

Author: Andrew Bickford

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Science and Technology Studies, Sociology

In Chemical Heroes Andrew Bickford analyzes the US military's attempts to design performance enhancement technologies and create pharmacological "supersoldiers" capable of withstanding extreme trauma. Bickford traces the deep history of efforts to biologically fortify and extend the health and lethal power of soldiers from the Cold War era into the twenty-first century, from early adaptations of mandatory immunizations, to bio-protective gear, to the development and spread of new performance enhancing drugs during the global War on Terror. In his examination of the government efforts to alter soldiers' bodies through new technologies, Bickford invites us to contemplate what constitutes heroism when armor becomes built in, wired in, even edited into the molecular beings of an American soldier. Lurking in the background and dark recesses of all US military enhancement research, Bickford demonstrates, is the desire to preserve US military and imperial power.



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Open Access

Spring 2020 Sale
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Andrew Bickford is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Georgetown University, author of Fallen Elites: The Military Other in Post-Unification Germany, and coauthor of The Counter-Counterinsurgency Manual, or Notes on Demilitarizing American Society.

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Table of Contents Forthcoming
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Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-1135-4 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0972-6