It’s six against six million in a brilliantly waged near-future war for nothing less than liberty and justice for all. The totalitarian East has triumphed in a massive invasion, and the United States has fallen to a dictatorial superpower bent on total domination. That power is consolidating its grip through concentration camps, police state tactics, and a total monopoly upon the very thoughts of the conquered populace. A tiny enclave of scientists and soldiers survives, unbeknownst to America’s new rulers. It’s six against six million - but those six happen to include a scientific genius, a master of subterfuge and disguise who learned his trade as a lawyer-turned-hobo, and a tough-minded commander who knows how to get the best out of his ragtag assortment of American discontents, wily operators, and geniuses. It’s going to take technological savvy and a propaganda campaign that would leave Madison Avenue aghast, but the US will rise again. The counterinsurgency for freedom is on, and defeat is not an option.
Robert A. Heinlein (1907–1988) was born in Missouri. He served five years in the US Navy, then attended graduate classes in mathematics and physics at UCLA, took a variety of jobs, and owned a silver mine before beginning to write science fiction in 1939. His novels have won the Hugo Award, and in 1975 he received the first Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement.
©1949 Robert A. Heinlein (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Tom W. very good at relating the story. Found it very easy to follow from start to finish
The squeeze on the protagonists
Could this already be Happening?
Although dated by the character portrayals, it was a fine listen. Pure Heinlein.
Formulaic and mediocre tale of rebellion against the Pan-Asian Alliance, which has invaded and subjugated the American people. I listened all the way through--I was on a long road trip--and it had some okay points, but i would strongly suggest against this title.
The narration was quite good, showing a pretty good dramatic range--more than the story itself, actually. It was enough to keep me listening, but not enough to make me glad I had.
Please do yourself a favor and read (or re-read) either 'Starship Troopers' or 'The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress' instead of this one. Your time and money will be far better spent. Heinlein, at his best, transcended the time he was writing from and portrayed the universal. He just didn't do that here. At all.
Lastly, I would especially warn off those who might find it objectionable to listen to Asians being referred to (often and throughout the book) as "flat-faced monkey-men" or "slanty-eyed baboons".
This (overly forgiving IMHO) discussion of race in the book is from the Wikipedia entry on The Sixth Column:
"The book was written in the same year as the attack on Pearl Harbor, while its hardcover publication coincided with the Communist victory in China; with the PanAsians being both Chinese and Japanese, it had a direct topical relevance in both cases. It is notable for its frank portrayal of racism on both sides. The conquerors regard themselves as a chosen people predestined to rule over lesser races, and they refer to white people as slaves. "Three things only do slaves require: work, food, and their religion." They require outward signs of respect, such as jumping promptly into the gutter when a member of the chosen race walks by, and the slightest hesitation to show the prescribed courtesies earns a swagger stick across the face. One character is Frank Mitsui, an Asian American whose family was murdered by the invaders because they did not fit in the new PanAsiatic racial order. The Americans in the novel respond to their conquerors' racism by often referring to them in unflattering terms, such as "flat face", "slanty" (a derisive reference to the look typical of Asian eyes), and "monkey boy".
The only thing would add is that Heinleins understanding of the 'Asian world-view' is so stereotypical and dated (remember: 1941) that it is laughable where it isn't tragic--or horrific, considering what was just a few years away.
Hope this helps,
It's age is showing. Yet not as charming as the Victorian or Edwardian Science fiction.
The invasion of the USA by a Soviet bloc that had actually been coopted by the yellow peril.
Sure, not his fault
Do Not Buy
Heinlein is a great author. But this book fails to live up to his standard. The story is far-fetched even for science fiction. The "science" is more magic than science. The plot contrivances are just plain silly.
1. I am a HUGE Heinlein fan.
2. I had never heard of this story before.
3. After listening to it, I understand very well why this does not seem to be in publication.
This is one of the rare Heinlein books worth steering away from.
I understand that this was written during the cold war. It was probably dated a few months after it was written. Its full of almost unbearable racial stereo-types. The plot is structured around the most goofy far fetched set up. America has been taken over by Asians. Washington DC was wiped out by a nuclear bomb. A surprise attack. Its left up to 6 people, 3 scientists, a cook, a private, and a hobo to fight back.
You can still catch glimpses of Heinlein. Some of what makes him a classically awesome author. But its sad to see him in such a setting that he created for himself.
DONT READ THIS!!!
From the context of when it was written maybe it wasn't so bad... and in some ways it it may have not been all that racist for the time... but reading it now was pretty rough. It goes on about the inferiority complex of the pan asian troops... And how America seems to be only whites. And the super weapon that can be tuned not to effect whites... I was not impressed.
Some of his stories are pretty amazing, I liked the Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. This one didn't have quality to make up for the racism.
If you're into books like Stephen King's "The Stand" or J Cronin's "Passage" or "The Twelve".. then don't waste your time... this book pales in comparison.. weak story line.. pitiful ending.. there is not depth to this book. I wish I hadn't wasted a credit on it...
well i wouldn't say "well-spent" but it did provide some chuckles, i enjoyed the dig at religion with some good character buildups but overall ridiculous fun, enjoy.
Great story. Good recording.
It is comparable to Double Star by Heinlein and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress also by Heinlein.
I like the voices Weiner uses. It helps you 'see' the characters.
I wouldn't mind listening to it all at once, but I don't have that kind of blocks of time.
Sixth Column ranks in the top 10 audiobooks I have listened to
I like the action most
The Leader. Major Ardmore
It made me proud of America
I read this story when I was a kid. I was glad that I was able to find it at Audible. I enjoyed it more the second time around.
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