So we made a thoroughfare for Freedom and her train, Sixty miles in latitude, three hundred to the main; Treason fled before us, for resistance was in vain, While we were marching through Georgia.
Since its debut inRobert Heinlein's novel Starship Troopers has been one of the most popular -- and controversial -- works of science fiction ever published.
Written in a few weeks as a response to a proposed nuclear testing moratorium and other issues, it has been interpreted and misinterpreted, praised and excoriated.
It recently generated hundreds of "reviews" on the Amazon. Long on philosophical discussions about citizenship, government, and sociology, this is a book that can be read on several levels: It virtually defined the powered armor subgenre of military science fiction.
It also generated an awful lot of mail, most of it negative. Lest anyone later accuse me of having a hidden agenda, let me make my agenda public at the outset: Starship Troopers might just be my favorite book of all time.
This web page was inspired in large part by the degree of misinterpretation, false statement, and outright character assassination I have recently witnessed concerning Robert Heinlein in general and Starship Troopers in specific, ranging from people on the internet who obviously felt that they didn't have to read the book or read it thoughtfully before condemming it, to the hypocritical statements of those responsible for Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers.
For a specific example of such misinterpretation and falsehood, I recommend Don D'Ammassa's recent "review" of Starship Troopers printed in April issue of Science Fiction Chronicle.
D'Ammassa uses same tired old technique of making what he claims are statements of fact regarding the society described within the book which are simply not supported by the text, then condemning the book based on these inaccurate claims.
To see my letter to the editor of Science Fiction Chronicleand any further details of the resulting corespondence between Mr.
D'Ammassa and myself, please click here. I have no problems with people disliking or even condemning the book for its contents; it is a controversial work, and while I personally think that "polemic" is a little extreme, I can see why someone might describe it that way.
What I do not accept, though, is condemning the book on the basis of willful ignorance or poor reading comprehension.
This is not to say that Starship Troopers doesn't have its flaws; it can be preachy and with a narrow focus, thus giving rise to the impression incorrect, I believe that Heinlein was only focused on the military.
More about this below. To further complicate matters, Heinlein occasionally makes contradictory statements about the society portrayed in the book.
While I disagree with Heinlein on a number of issues including the one that prompted him to write the book in the first placeI do agree wholeheartedly with his take on citizenship; that with rights come responsibilities, and that many if not all of the major problems facing the western democracies today -- especially the United States -- are the result of people having forgotten that simple fact.
Chapter 1 opens with a quick strike mission on a world of the Skinnies, the humanoid allies of the Federation's main foe, the insect-like Arachnids.
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After some aptitude testing and preliminary screening, young Johnny finds himself at a boot camp so rigorous only ten percent of the recruits finish basic training.12 Angry Men study guide contains a biography of Reginald Rose, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
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March A couple days ago I finally got being a good startup founder down to two words: relentlessly resourceful. Till then the best I'd managed was to get the opposite quality down to one: hapless.
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