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Starship Troopers, retold in the hip thinking of the 70's
am 6. Dezember 1998
Written at the end of the Vietnam War, whenanti-establishment paranoia was reaching fever pitch in the UnitedStates, this book is very much a product of its time. Originally turned down by over a dozen publishers, "The Forever War" has become a classic of science fiction, albeit a controversial one. Haldeman creates a future society where rampant sexual promiscuity is the norm in an uncaring military regime. Although there are 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 government-imposed homosexuality as a form of birth control and the importance of using mind-altering drugs in the military culture. Haldeman's social theories are 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 it should not be used as a political manifesto. The most interesting feature of "The Forever War" is its fascinating glimpse into America's struggle for a post-Vietnam War identity, told as a heroic tale of interstellar conflict.
Sounds familiar? The military culture described in this book is closer to that which was parodied in "MASH", "Kelly's Heroes" and the other hip war movies of the 70's, and would probably not be very effective if it existed in reality.
In summary, this book is not only derivative but also readily dates itself.
Frankly, I enjoyed watching the movie "Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery", a lot more than this book.