"A parable of … American power"

Recommended by the New Statesman from university press books on 26 April 2013:

"Napalm was born a hero but lives a pariah," Robert M. Neer writes. As such, its history is a parable of the vicissitudes of modern American power. Developed at Harvard in the early 1940s, napalm is indelibly associated with the war in Vietnam but Neer shows that it played a role as important as the atomic bomb in hastening Japanese surrender in the Second World War.