Imagining a Future Civil Conflict: Omar El Akkad's "American War"


I am currently reading Omar El Akkad's excellent debut novel- American War. The novel is a piece of futurism, as it imagines a future civil war in the United States over oil. Southern states revolted over a blue state law that banned its use. Chemical weapons are used in South Carolina. "Birds" are mini-drones. The ocean overtakes New York City, Washington D.C., and most of Flordia. In the midst of this horrifying story, a young girl, Sara (known as "Sarah-T") emerges a force for justice- or is she being manipulated? Part thriller, part-warning shot- this book makes for a great read. Highly recommended!


Quotes:

"My favorite postcards are from the 2020's and 2030's. . . a reminder of when America as it existed in the first half of the 21st century: soaring, roaring, oblivious".

"But still she sensed in her brother a kind of insecurity, as though trying to scare her was not some cruel way to pass time, but a vital means of proving something to himself. She wondered if all boys were like this, their meanness a self-defense".

"Sarat thought about the question. It seemed sensible to crave safety, to crave shelter from the bombs and the Birds and the daily depravity of war. But somewhere deep in her mind an idea began to fester-perhaps the longing for safety was itself just another kind of violence-a violence of cowardice, silence, submission. What was safety, anyway, but the sound of a bomb falling on someone else's home?".

"Everyone knew there had always been fissures: in the Pacific NW they were constantly threatening to declare the proud independence of Cascadia, south of Cascadia so much of California, Nevada, Arizona, and West Texas was already under the informal control of the Mexican government. In the Midwest, the old-stock nativists harbored a barely restrained animosity towards the millions of coastal refugees who descended onto the middle of the country to escape rising seas. And here, in the south, an entire region decided to wage war again, to sever itself from the Union rather than stop using that illicit fuel responsible for much of the country's misfortune".


link to Goodreads




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