THE MAGAZINE

Bombs and Bombings: A Handbook to Protection, Security, Detection, Disposal and Investigation for Industry, Police and Fire Depa

By Hugh J. Martin

*****Bombs and Bombings: A Handbook to Protection, Security, Detection, Disposal and Investigation for Industry, Police and Fire Departments, Third Edition. By Thomas G. Brodie; published by Charles C. Thomas, www.ccthomas.com (Web); 328 pages; $49.95.

News about bombings permeates our lives. Most of us see graphic coverage of bombings on television nightly and read about it in the newspaper daily. For a lot of us, that’s the closest we’ll ever get to a bomb. However, there exists a special group of people who are trained to approach these devices and render them (and us) safe. We call these brave souls “bomb technicians,” and the tricks of their trade are explained in the third edition of this informative work.

The author of Bombs and Bombings, Thomas G. Brodie, is a retired bomb technician who rose to the rank of captain in the Miami-Dade Police Department. With his 24 years on the bomb squad, Brodie writes authoritatively about bombs and bombings from the perspective of someone intimate with how they work. His objective is to help others in his field, and that focus is evident throughout the pages of this book.

Bomb technicians and others who seek specialized information about the intricate, multifarious, and perilous work that these professionals perform will find much of value. The author gives an absorbing account of the various lethal mechanisms that he and colleagues have encountered during their years of service spent dismantling and disarming explosive devices. Brodie’s discussion of bomb-disposal procedures is comprehensive.

Photographs are critical for giving an understanding of how bombs work and how they can be dismantled. Although the photographs in this work are all in black and white (and thus lack shades of contrast) and appear to be dated, they are nonetheless valuable.

Not all the information is geared to experts, however. The last chapter, entitled “Principles of Bomb Protection,” contains information that anyone tasked with physical security responsibilities would find helpful. Those who have had little or no training in this area would also benefit from this general overview regarding bomb protection.

Although this work won’t appeal to the average practitioner in the security industry, it’s an essential read for bomb technicians and aspiring bomb technicians. A security practitioner who counts response to bomb threats among his or her duties would also find this work valuable.


Reviewer: Hugh J. Martin recently retired as the director of public safety/chief of police for the City of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and is a certified emergency manager. He holds graduate degrees from Loyola University and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He has also attended specialized training programs on bombs and bombings at the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. He is a member of ASIS.

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