The Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Atwood

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The first two times I read this book, I found it interesting but far-fetched. This time, it is chilling and plausible. Atwood seems almost prophetic in her look at the future. Women are chattel, valued for their ability to bear children. Fertile women are allocated to powerful men, and bear their name: Offred, Ofglen, etc. Their own names and identities are properties of the state.
Atwood doesn’t need my praise, but I’m willing to add my voice to the chorus of praise the this prophetic book.

 

 

 

Double Star

Robert Heinlein

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I seem to be reading a lot of political books lately, both fiction and non-fiction. Things don’t seem to have changed much in the 51 years since Heinlein wrote this, except politicians lie openly and blatantly now and no one seems to care.

When The Great Lorenzo Smythe™. aka Larry Smith, is approached by a group of staffers to take on a temporary assignment acting as a double for the great leader Joseph Bonforte, he reluctantly agrees. It’s not his normal thing, he is a classically trained actor, but the money offered is good, and it’s a short-term gig. Unfortunately, it turns out to be more than he bargained for.

The pleasure in reading this book is the glimpse of the inner workings of a major politician. I said that things haven’t change much because I’m reading Al Franken: Giant of the Senate, and what he writes about resembles Heinlein’s book. I also just finished Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream It all comes down to how well the politician surrounds himself with a competent staff so he can focus on the big stuff and trust them to handle the day-do-day details.

Although fiction, the novel rings true, and is just as applicable today as it was 51 years ago.