The History of Slavery.
Since its debut inRobert Heinlein's novel Starship Troopers has been one of the most popular -- and controversial -- works of science fiction ever published. Written in a few weeks as a response to a proposed nuclear testing moratorium and other issues, it has been interpreted and misinterpreted, praised and excoriated.
It recently generated hundreds of "reviews" on the Amazon.
Long on philosophical discussions about citizenship, government, and sociology, this is a book that can be read on several levels: It virtually defined the powered armor subgenre of military science fiction.
It also generated an awful lot of mail, most of it negative. Lest anyone later accuse me of having a hidden agenda, let me make my agenda public at the outset: Starship Troopers might just be my favorite book of all time.
This web page was inspired in large part by the degree of misinterpretation, false statement, and outright character assassination I have recently witnessed concerning Robert Heinlein in general and Starship Troopers in specific, ranging from people on the internet who obviously felt that they didn't have to read the book or read it thoughtfully before condemming it, to the hypocritical statements of those responsible for Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers.
For a specific example of such misinterpretation and falsehood, I recommend Don D'Ammassa's recent "review" of Starship Troopers printed in April issue of Science Fiction Chronicle.
D'Ammassa uses same tired old technique of making what he claims are statements of fact regarding the society described within the book which are simply not supported by the text, then condemning the book based on these inaccurate claims.
To see my letter to the editor of Science Fiction Chronicleand any further details of the resulting corespondence between Mr.
D'Ammassa and myself, please click here. I have no problems with people disliking or even condemning the book for its contents; it is a controversial work, and while I personally think that "polemic" is a little extreme, I can see why someone might describe it that way.
What I do not accept, though, is condemning the book on the basis of willful ignorance or poor reading comprehension. This is not to say that Starship Troopers doesn't have its flaws; it can be preachy and with a narrow focus, thus giving rise to the impression incorrect, I believe that Heinlein was only focused on the military.
More about this below.
To further complicate matters, Heinlein occasionally makes contradictory statements about the society portrayed in the book. While I disagree with Heinlein on a number of issues including the one that prompted him to write the book in the first placeI do agree wholeheartedly with his take on citizenship; that with rights come responsibilities, and that many if not all of the major problems facing the western democracies today -- especially the United States -- are the result of people having forgotten that simple fact.
Chapter 1 opens with a quick strike mission on a world of the Skinnies, the humanoid allies of the Federation's main foe, the insect-like Arachnids.
The story then flashes back to Johnny's graduation from high school, and his decision -- on a whim, really -- to sign up for Federal Service over the objections of his wealthy industrialist father. After some aptitude testing and preliminary screening, young Johnny finds himself at a boot camp so rigorous only ten percent of the recruits finish basic training.
He survives, is assigned to a unit, takes part in a few operations, almost gets killed, goes career, attends Officer Candidate School, is commissioned, and eventually commands his own unit. Interspersed through this are flashbacks to his high school History and Moral Philosophy course.Of Patrons and Clients Since the earliest days of the Republic, Roman society was a society of status.
Institutionalized in what is called the patron-client system, Roman society was really a network of personal relationships that obligated people to one another in a legal fashion. To do this, I will examine the Roman Army in depth, explaining its format, chain of command, tactics, weapons and technology, which are still key factors in the success of an army today.
I will also look at the Roman navy’s role in this success. - Roman Army's Superiority to the Celts Sewers, Baths, Toilets, Roads, Theatres and the Cambridge Latin Course are just a few examples of the wonderful and innovative technology brought to this country by a much accomplished and conquering Roman Army.
Albrecht Dürer: The Genius with a Great Soul.
Albrecht Dürer was not only the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance, but also a unique personality, his genius coexisting with a pure, noble character.
The Roman Republic intervenes in Macedonia, Greece and Asia Minor and crushes more rebellion in Corsica and Sardinia. The legions of Rome were one of the biggest factors in Rome’s success as an empire. They conquered vast quantities of land, and were often used by the government to improve the morale of people living in cities, which often had parts that were cramped and unsanitary.