C.J. Chivers, a senior writer and war correspondent at The New York Times, is the author of THE GUN, a history of the origins of the world's most abundant weapon -- the Kalashnikov -- and the consequences of its spread. For more information, visit www.cjchivers.com

Among the Iraqi dictator’s most prized gifts were chrome plated AK-47s. Reporter C.J.  Chivers tells the story of how this humble rifle became fashionable among revolutionaries—and dispels many of the myths about them.