So clearly I intended to write this posting a LONGGGG time ago. I’ve been saving it because both of these books are two of the best I’ve read in a long time. I strongly suggest them as immediate reading. (And in case the FTC is monitoring blogs now, I did not receive any compensation to make these recommendations!)
The first is a work of fiction (I hope) and the second is non-fiction/history. Both are related to a potential catastrophe facing the United States of America and how its citizens do (or might) respond.
“One Second After” by William R. Forstchen tells the tale of a North Carolina mountain town that struggles to survive after a massive EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack on the USA. The science behind the fiction is as fascinating and disturbing as the storyline. In brief, if you explode a nuclear weapon in the atmosphere (as opposed to at ground level), the EMP will fry every type of electronic/transistor in every piece of modern machinery. I don’t want to give away much of the plot — but involves a complete breakdown of civilized society because we are so wed to modern electronics to get through each day.
How serious is the EMP threat you might ask? Chillingly real. There has been at least one Congressional hearing on the subject each of the past several years. Here is a link to an account of the most recent (July 2009).
If you want a great “future is now” thriller that will keep you turning pages and crapping your pants wondering when this might happen for real — definitely buy “One Second After“.
My second recommendation is a relatively “old” book (1997) that just came to my attention recently. It is called “The Fourth Turning” by William Strauss and Neil Howe. Here’s the Amazon.com review which sums it up nicely:
The Fourth Turning continues the project of mapping out the place of generations in history, a project begun in the authors’ earlier books Generations and 13th Gen. If millennial fever takes hold, The Fourth Turning may be only the first of an impending wave of pseudo-scholarly tracts prognosticating future (but imminent!) doom as we collectively close the books on this millennium. Those expecting a serious or dry tome might be put off by the authors’ taste for bulleted text and catchy phrasings, but can you blame these guys for wanting to make impending peril as exciting as possible? After all, they think we are headed toward “events on par with the Revolution, the Civil War, or World War II” in the next 20 years. Mixing solid understanding of present generational divisions, with some fairly broad generalizations, Strauss and Howe promise to move from history to prophecy.
Their other two books are now on my list as I’ve become fascinated with the different dynamics of generations, especially as it impacts American history and its future. Many of their predictions from1997 are today’s headlines, so perhaps it is more impactful to read it now than when it was first published.
So there you go. Two long overdue book recommendations from me — he who rarely has time to read a magazine!! I read both of these quickly earlier this summer. They are both engaging and terrifying at the same time.
My reading habits will hopefully improve since PatriotPartner got me an Amazon Kindle for my 41st birthday last week. Yay!