David Kinkela from the State University of New York at Fredonia in the American Historical Association's American Historical Review, April 2014:
Neer’s comprehensive biography reveals a complex story, one shaped by scientific innovation, changing military strategies, popular culture, and the shifting rules of war. It focuses on the American development and deployment of napalm. As Neer writes, napalm “has burned more people, across more of the earth’s surface and over a longer period of time, in the name of the United States than in that of any other nation” (p. 223). While Neer provides a detailed account of the weapon’s history, his insightful analysis underscores a more profound issue, namely the morality of deploying incendiary weapons against civilian populations. Thus, his book is more than a history of napalm; it is a thought- provoking study of how Americans have justified the killing of civilians in times of war. … Neer offers an insightful perspective on the state of modern warfare. … [A] first-rate book.