What We’re Reading: On Bullets and Bastards

Weekly reviews of what's on our bookshelves.

Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun By Paul Barrett Late last fall, on my annual hunting trip with some fellow idiots, a well-to-do friend of mine rolled up in his trailer and promptly unveiled his arsenal of deer-killing devices. A 7mm Browning X-Bolt Hells Canyon, a Q Sugar Weasel chambered in .300 Blackout, a Savage Arms rifle the caliber of which I couldn’t quite make out, as well as a few others, all decked out in state-of-the-art optics and suppressors. I am not a serious hunter, but my friend is. It’s not uncommon for him, after putting his infant to bed, to search his property for some game, shoot it, dress it and cook it for dinner. To hear him wax poetic about the science of ballistics and the subsequent chemistry of cooking is really something, even for someone like me who is a little lazy and kind of stupid. I mention this because for all his lethal bells and whistles, when we plinked later at our makeshift range he was armed only with a Glock. “Only” may not be the best word, I guess – true to form, it was a G19 Gen 5 equipped with a red dot […]

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Cole Altom
Cole Altom is the managing editor at Geopolitical Futures. He oversees the publishing department, which curates the website, develops Geopolitical Futures’ editorial strategy, consults with analysts, liaises with marketing and maintains the integrity of all published material. Before joining Geopolitical Futures, Mr. Altom worked at Stratfor for seven years, during which time, as managing editor, he handled special projects, served as personnel director for the publishing department, ran the internship program, managed website taxonomy, tracked website analytics, developed new content types and edited and copyedited published material. Mr. Altom earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies and political science at Trinity University in San Antonio. He is a certified English teacher and is conversant in Spanish.
Phillip Orchard
Phillip Orchard is an analyst at Geopolitical Futures. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Orchard spent nearly six years at Stratfor, working as an editor and writing about East Asian geopolitics. He’s spent more than six years abroad, primarily in Southeast Asia and Latin America, where he’s had formative, immersive experiences with the problems arising from mass political upheaval, civil conflict and human migration. Mr. Orchard holds a master’s degree in Security, Law and Diplomacy from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, where he focused on energy and national security, Chinese foreign policy, intelligence analysis, and institutional pathologies. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas. He speaks Spanish and some Thai and Lao.