Robert Heinlein's work is always...interesting. I recently finished his book Sixth Column, about a
While the plot was good, and the characterizations were varied and unique, what struck me as most thought-provoking were two things: one, that the threat wasn't seen as a threat, or even as a newly emerged technological superpower, until far too late because of a virulent form of isolationism; and two, that the heroes of the tale--the leftover American defensive forces--use the PanAsian policy of not harassing the religions of their conquered peoples as a method of fomenting a successful rebellion and defense of what was left of America.
I'll start with the isolationism. Early in the novel, Heinlein warns his readers of the dangers of national isolationism through the sole surviving and free army officer's thoughts.
Heinlein, as I've said, was a visionary. Granted, our non-fictional
The second point that I found interesting was the choice by the main characters to use one of the bits of intelligence that one of the characters went out and gathered: that white males were not allowed to assemble, legally, anywhere but in church. Nor were white females. The army commander figured it out: the only way to foment and train for a successful rebellion was to set up a new religion. This was successful mostly because, as Heinlein pointed out, to the outsider, all religions look equally crackpot.
One of the things I found particularly interesting about Heinlein's created religion was that it managed to do nothing to offend any other established religion--Western or Eastern. Would that all religions were so cooperative and non-confrontational with one another.
I won't give away any more of the plot, but this is an early science fiction story. Everything turns out all right in the end, despite one of the scientists cracking mentally and attempting to use the technological breakthrough to seize power under the delusion that he actually was the god that they'd made up.
I highly recommend the book. It was as much interesting political commentary, as I've said, as it was an engaging read.