Written less than 15 years after the end of the second world war, as anti-Communist paranoia was reaching fever-pitch in the United States, this book is very much a product of its time. Originally planned for a juvenile audience, Starship Troopers
has become a classic of hard science fiction, albeit a controversial one. Heinlein creates a future society where citizenship must be earned through military service, and although there are a number of exciting scenes of battle, much of the book is taken up with an exploration of the philosophical ramifications of such a society. The book discusses the necessity of warfare to moral development and the importance of beating children in order to make them into good citizens. Heinlein's political theory is quite unpalatable and occasionally irresponsible. However, the book is frequently exciting, and the details of the society are fascinating. This is an entertaining and thought-provoking book, but perhaps not best-suited for use as a political manifesto. The most interesting feature of Starship Troopers
is its fascinating glimpse into America's struggle for a post-war identity, told as a heroic tale of interstellar conflict.
About the Author
Robert A. Heinlein was one of the greatest science fiction writers of the century and won the coveted Hugo Award on several occasions. He died in 1989.