Stalk and Kill: The Sniper Experience

Adrian Gilbert, Author St. Martin's Press $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-312-17030-1
Following up his Sniper: The World of Combat Sniping (1995), Gilbert, a British authority on military sniping, creates a popular history of the deadly craft by weaving together bits of interviews, memoirs and material from sources like Soldier of Fortune. Sniping began with the introduction of rifled small arms that permitted the selection of individual targets at long range. Distinct from a skirmishing soldier or a sharpshooter who might sometimes use his rifle sniper style, the sniper is a specialist. Originally often hunters or foresters, snipers began to be systematically trained during WWI. Today, long-range precision shooting has become so technically complex that snipers now usually work in teams of a spotter and a shooter. Some of Gilbert's most compelling material depicts duels between individual snipers in which the wider war becomes no more than a setting for an amoral contest affirming the killer's superior skill. Through anecdotes from the world wars, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and ""operations other than war,"" such as in Bosnia and Northern Ireland, Gilbert establishes patience and precision as the sniper's most important characteristics. Next comes a willingness to kill personally, individually, repeatedly. Gilbert's work invites interpretation in the context of Barbara Ehrenreich's Blood Sacrifice, with the sniper as predator triggering a primal fear in his targets. In war, no sniper, once discovered, can count on reaching a POW cage. Few expect to. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1997
Release date: 12/01/1997
Mass Market Paperbound - 256 pages - 978-0-312-96811-3
Hardcover - 300 pages - 978-0-283-06284-1
Paperback - 280 pages - 978-0-312-30391-4
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