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on 6 January 2004
For those who don't recognize the title but find the synopsis familiar, this book has previously been published under the title "The Day After Tomorrow"
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on 16 January 2012
Sixth Column
Forget any bias, this is a great story of how a team led by 6 men "saved the world"! Well - they actually saved America, which amounted to the same thing - the world having been effectively overrun by an 'alien' civilisation; the Pan-Asiatics.
For those reviewers who have spouted off about political correctness - ignore them!
This book was conceived and written by an American in 1941 (the year of Pearl Harbour) and was eventually printed in 1949. Is it therefore any surprise to find that the 'Yellow Peril' is the enemy?
Equally, Heinlein has 'ignored' black Americans....because at the time of writing that's what it was like. Do those critics expect Heinlein's ghost to add in some characters and change the aggressors?
Their comments are akin to saying that Mein Kampf is racist and should be rewritten!
However, the story isn't really about America against China - it's a story of an all-conquering people being flattened by technology in the hands of a tiny minority, - it's 1940's sci-fi at it's best!
Perhaps it's the forerunner to The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress - but whatever, it's an inspiring story turned into an intriguing tale by the Master of Sci-fi, Robert Heinlein.....and still just as readable almost 70 years after it was written.
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on 4 August 1999
Heinlein is as relevant today as he was when this story was originally written. The only difference between then and now is the take over is more in the nature of finanicial than fanatical. His point, directed at the "yellow menace", was that patriotisim relies on action not on talk or posturing. No matter the source of the "menace" it was the actions that counted. Don't be put off by words that this is a racist work. It has more to do with freedom than anything. Heinlein's argument is that the price is worth paying. Don't be scarred away by people who feel sullied by an anachronistic name. Many great works or literature are now considered racist, because at the time of their writing they forced people to think in other terms. Maybe that was why they were written in the first place to change others points of view. This is a good story and a good lesson needing to be learned and valued today. Aside from all that it is a fine adventure story that moves you along at a terrific rate to a satisfying conclusion.
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on 19 November 2015
A damn good read from one of the top sci-fi writers. From a time when science was just beginning to understand more of the world around us, comes a fantastical story from one of the fathers of sci-fi. Built on a single premise, with characters of depth, this is a very entertaining read.
Built on the concept of our burgeoning understanding of atomic power it takes a idea and presents us with a sensible vision.
Some may find elements of this racist, but this was written at a time of war, when America faced a growing threat from the "yellow peril" across the Pacific Ocean. I see this as nothing but background, any writer of conflict is going to have to portray one nation as the despicable enemy attacking their homeland.
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on 10 June 1999
This story is food for the soul of those who accept personal responsibility for their lives and choices. It was one of the first books I ever read by Robert Heinlein, and helped to form the self-governor I am today. My copy has long crumbled to shreds and I will be overjoyed to get another.
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on 26 June 2000
As a Heinlein devotee I recently reread my copy after several years neglect. There is no doubt that this is a tremendously told story. As a tale of subterfuge and revolution it is not far off one of Heinlein's finest works; The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
However, I have to say I was disturbed by the somewhat racist nature of the bool. The basic premise is the discovery of a machine that will only kill asiatics and not caucasians; nothing wrong there since the plot revolves round the invasion and enslavement of the American people by Asia. The problem is that there is never any mention made of the Black American population. Indeed in some places caucasian is used almost synonymously with American.
I believe there is absolutely no case for claiming Heinlein as a racist. The list of his novels that have anti-racist themes or plots is too long to list, e.g. the 2nd half of Farnham's Freehold; The society in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and a number of heros who are either revealed at the end of stories as non-white or left as indeterminate race. I do think however this novel is a product of its time and in the views of the current time contains startling oversights
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on 16 October 2003
This was`nt Heinlein`s best book by a long way even though I am a big fan of his. There just is no great substance to the story.
Most people would probably give up half way in as there is not the slightest bit of exitement here as is usual with Heinlein.
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on 17 February 2013
I know this is one of the first of the writers books but really this was a very poor vstart for such a great of the genre.
I have a collection of books by this authour but will not be putting this one on display.
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