Alas, Babylon

Alas, Babylon Book Cover Alas, Babylon
Pat Frank
Harper Collins
June 4, 2013

I love a good post-apocalyptic story of survival. I especially like the references to Ancient Greek and Roman history.

But Sam Hazzard’s principal hobby was listening to short-wave radio. He was not a ham operator. He had no transmitter. He listened. He did not chatter. He monitored the military frequencies and the foreign broadcasts and, with his enormous background of military and political knowledge, he kept pace with the world outside

He recognized Durant’s Caesar and Christ, Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, and Vom Kriege by Clausewitz, indicating a footnote to ancient history.

“There are odd similarities between the end of the Pax Romana and the end of the Pax Americana which inherited Pax Britannica. For instance, the prices paid for high office. When it became common to spend a million dollars to elect senators from moderately populous states, I think that should have been a warning to us. For instance, free pap for the masses. Bread and circuses. Roman spectacles and our spectaculars. Largesse from the conquering proconsuls and television giveaways from the successful lipstick king. To understand the present you must know the past, yet it is only part of the answer and I will never discover it all. I have not the years.”