Sunday, July 17, 2011
Republic: A Novel of America's Future by Charles Sheehan-Miles - A Book Review
Republic imagines a United States, somewhere in the near future, where taxes are at 60%, the economy is in a severe recession, and the US government has become oppressive and ignores the Constitution at will.
It begins in a small town in West Virginia. A labor dispute involving the local computer chip factory brings a violent response from the federal government. The main characters, employees at the factory, are also members of the West Virginia National Guard.
The federal governments response to the labor dispute is only the latest in a series of violent actions committed by the justice department. When the citizens of West Virginia decide that the only way to protect themselves and their rights, is to secede from the United States, the West Virginia National Guard is called upon to protect their state from the inevitable US invasion.
Simply put: this was an amazing and emotional novel. The characters were compelling as was the storyline. The pacing was particularly good, with only a few parts of the story getting in the way of an overall superb plot.
The author drew much of his inspiration for the novel from the federal government's actions in Waco, Texas and the 2001 Patriot Act.
Charles Sheehan-Miles deserves mention for the political angle of his book. Whereas other authors would have simply portrayed such a story from a left-wing or right-wing angle, Sheehan-Miles portrays it from a perspective that almost American can understand and sympathize with. This is particularly true with the subject of secession. It is presented not as a right-wing or "Neo-Confederate" idea, but as a last resort to protect the state and it's citizens from an overbearing federal government.
I don't read fiction very much, but I have read this book twice in the last six months. It's that important.
Read it for yourself.