Michael Burleigh

Battle Bugs

Six-legged Soldiers: Using Insects as Weapons of War


Oxford University Press 377pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

Six-legged Soldiers is the work of a familiar two-legged species: the jaunty scientist with a scary story to tell. Jeffrey A Lockwood is an entomologist and teacher of creative writing in Wyoming. His book is breezily written, although hardly as ‘gripping’ as the various blurbs by fellow entomologists optimistically aver. Few books require the equivalent of health warnings. However, this one may make readers itchy, with its graphic descriptions of lice replicating in the seams of clothes, and it is not good bedtime reading either, since even without a stiff drink they may well dream of ants and spiders scurrying up and down walls.

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