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A friend here at O’Reilly swung by my office the other day and commented on the copy of the Anarchist Cookbook I had on my desk and that I should check out The Poor Man’s James Bond. He had a picked up a copy of it a few years ago at a garage sale and brought it into work for me to check out.

According to Wikipedia, the book was compiled by former American Nazi Party member Kurt Saxon (credited with coining the term “survivalist”) and it was geared at the growing survivalist movement of the 1970s and 80s. It was a counterpoint to the Anarchist Cookbook, which he claimed contained many inaccuracies.

The second issue of The Poor Man’s James Bond talks about improvised weapons that could be made legally using common household items. It also had a number of easily made and readily available booby traps and a number of other explosives recipes. In addition, the book covered fireworks, chemistry, archery targets, scrap spearguns, and more!

We took a few pictures of the book and I got a kick out of all of the potentially very dangerous projects involved. It reminded me of the The Dangerous Book for Boys for grownups.

In the preface, Kurt recounts a time where he was making concussive caps and nearly lost an ear and his hearing when it was mixed improperly. So, remember to read the directions all the way through, get a Ph.D. in chemistry, and then start building.

Launch the Slideshow

Jake Spurlock

Web Developer at MAKE. I’m an Engineer. That means I solve problems.

Also, a geek, designer, HTML/CSS/PHP lover. Taker of photos, and sometimes skiing and biking…


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Comments

  1. anonymous says:

    Dude, plagiarize much? The Wikipedia article is almost word for word the same. Did you write the Wikipedia article? If not, you should give credit…

    1. There was a link to wikipedia article, I added a reference. Thanks.

  2. Jeff Faust says:

    “Archery Targets From Pasteboard” and “File into a Hunting Knife” were taken directly from “The Amateur Craftsman’s Cyclopedia of Things To Make” (Popular Science Publishing, 1937). Now THERE’S a book that every maker ought to flip through!

  3. Karl says:

    I happen to own a copy of “poor man’s James Bond” vol one. I haven’t ever had a chance to read the second volume but the first book is loaded with dangerous projects and extreme ideas. Not to mention a fair amount of crazy mixed in. Example: how to mix a potent poisons from over the counter pest control products and then TEST THEM ON HOMELESS. The author states that poisons should not be tested on alley cats because, 1. testing on innocent animals is not moral. 2. alley cats are tough to kill.
    Granted i am paraphrasing here but it is as close to a direct quote I can get to without having the book open in front of me. Volume one also has plans to build an AR-15 knockoff ; explosive grenades; chemical triggered explosive packages (as well as how to disguise the explosives in a soda can); and suggestions for how to order from chemical supply companies without raising an alarm; how to hide things from the FBI if they happen to be executing a search warrant on your property.

    As far as I can tell, each and every one of the projects in this book will get you arrested at the very least. It is a whole bag full of bad.

    1. Yeah, definitely not praising the wholesome nature of the book. Kind of fun to flip through the pages of it though!

  4. anon says:

    I ran into this book by chance. Flipped through it, and tossed it out. I don’t think something like this is necessarily a good idea to have. Anywhere in any form. It raises too many questions. Personally, i think ill skip it.

  5. murphaticlaw says:

    I always thought they were a satire on the whole fascist/Nazi Aryan Brotherhood movement when I was a kid, I mean some of the ‘schematics’ look like they were drawn by a 2 year old. But yeah, the only piece of advice I remember taking seriously was when someone wrote in a letter to his zine recommending that you closely document what you were doing step by step so the paramedics could give the Doctors a clue.
    I learned later that Saxon himself had blown off parts of at least one hand
    He has several books out there, and some where actually just reprints of 1800′s how to books on chemistry and the like. And I just realized that was where I saw a design for a lathe made of steel tubing that I’ve been wracking my brains to remember..

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