Journalist, writer. BBC news, reporter, U.S. State Department correspondent, foreign affairs reporter, security correspondent. Previously foreign affairs reporter for BBC Radio 4.
Gordon Corera is a BBC correspondent who specializes in security matters. In his 2006 work of nonfiction, Shopping for Bombs: Nuclear Proliferation, Global Insecurity, and the Rise and Fall of the A.Q. Khan Network, he examines one of the worst cases of nuclear proliferation on record. Khan, known as the father of the Pakistani bomb, was a young metallurgist in 1971 when Pakistan lost the 1971 war to India. That defeat convinced him he must help his country get an atomic bomb. To that end, as a research scientist in Holland, he stole secrets that enabled Pakistan to build such a weapon. Thereafter, Khan made a profitable living for himself selling nuclear secrets to such rogue states as Libya and North Korea. Though other governments, including that of the United States, long suspected this nuclear black market, other concerns, including the Cold War, diverted attention. It was only in 2004 that the CIA finally presented the Pakistani government with the proof of his behavior; Khan was subsequently subjected to house arrest.
Corera tells this story like a "page-turner," according to a reviewer for the Economist. Likewise, a contributor for California Bookwatch called Shopping for Bombs an "eye-opening analysis." A Publishers Weekly critic commented that Corera presents a "measured account." Similarly, Bruce Harding, writing in the New Zealand International Review, found the work a "careful descriptive account," as well as "scary." Harding concluded: "Corera's stunning research and detective work have generated in Shopping for Bombs a most important book that must be read, and read widely." Bret Stephens, writing in Commentary, also had praise for the author, observing: "It is to Corera's great credit that he tells his story straight, without much by way of editorial interpolation or obvious ideological bias."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Arms Control Today, October, 2006, review of Shopping for Bombs: Nuclear Proliferation, Global Insecurity, and the Rise and Fall of the A.Q. Khan Network, p. 51.
BBC Monitoring International Reports, September 27, 2006, "UK Arab Paper Reports BBC Correspondent's Lecture on Nuclear Proliferation."
California Bookwatch, February, 2007, review of Shopping for Bombs.
Commentary, November, 2006, Bret Stephens, review of Shopping for Bombs, p. 68.
Economist, July 29, 2006, review of Shopping for Bombs, p. 75.
New Zealand International Review, November-December, 2006, Bruce Harding, review of Shopping for Bombs, p. 28.
Publishers Weekly, July 31, 2006, review of Shopping for Bombs, p. 71.
Asia Times Online,http://www.atimes.com/ (December 2, 2006), Sreeram Chaulia, review of Shopping for Bombs.
BBC Online,http://www.bbc.co.uk/ (April 9, 2007), "Gordon Corera, Security Correspondent."