Twilight’s Last Gleaming by John Michael Greer
I absolutely loved this book. Over the past six months or so I think I’ve read four or five of John Michael Greer’s books, both fiction and non-fiction and have been impressed with all of them to varying degrees and for different reasons. This one stood out to me because it covered some of my pet-topics (secession, resource wars, military spending and American exceptionalism) and also because Greer did a great job covering the military, geopolitical and geographical aspects of the story – not too shabby for a bearded druid that rides the bus and writes about peak oil.
It’s been two months since I read it, so some of the details are fuzzy but here’s the general story: In the year 2025 (or something) the United States is a little beyond her prime and starts a war with Uganda – where coincidentally they had just discovered massive oil deposits offshore. The Chinese have been involved in Africa and US and Chinese interest bump noses with disasterous results for the US. The Russians get involved at some level too. When Uncle Sam tucks his tail and heads home, it leads to political and economic trouble back home.
This one is a real page-turner and I think it took me no more than two days to get through it just because it was so interesting.
So here’s a few of the strong points…
– Well written and plausible enough to make you think.
– I liked how under-developed the characters were. Yes, that’s right. They were pretty much just personal enough to tell the story. All the substance is in the ideas and facts intertwined into an interesting story.
– I believe the “fuck it, we’re America and invincible” attitude gets us into a lot of trouble and will get us into even more in the future and Greer does a good job tearing this sentiment apart. When everything is going to hell in Africa, take notice of how often the political/military folks say things like “once we regain air superiority” while they’re getting their asses handed to them. We don’t believe we can lose….and we can, or at least pay too high of a price.
– Great job describing Chinese, American and Russian national pysches.
There is room for a sequel here and I’d like to see it…