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Publisher's Summary

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.

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SOCK IT TO EM

MAN 1: I AM UNWORTHY
MAN 2: I DO NOT DISPUTE THAT
Kind of like Man In a High Castle, only different. Heinlein discovers that if you want to start a revolution, start a new religion. A look at several Middle Eastern Countries, show that this is very plausible. This was written before Heinlein's horny phase and is a half way decent reading.

There has been some talk about it being racist. Heinlein calls the Asians, Flat Faces, Monkeys and Apes. On the other hand the Asians look at Americans as being barbarians. The names did not bother me. This was war and the Asians are the invaders. They are going to be called names. What struck me was the lack of black people. The Americans set up these temples that only white people can enter. If someone of Asian blood enters, he can die. Never is it mentioned that blacks even exist.

I prefer Heinlein's young adult books, but this is more readable than some of his others.

TAKE A SLEEPING PILL, THAT'S AN ORDER

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • J
  • Livingston, TX, United States
  • 11-14-13

Childhood favorite

I first read this book when I was a teenager. I finally decided to give it another go. Even though the underlying "history" has passed it by, I have to admit that I enjoyed it every bit as much as I did the first time. There's just something about the way Heinlein put words together to tell stories that made those stories timeless. He's one of the few writers from my childhood that I truly miss as a septagenarian.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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The Yellow Peril as it was

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Heinlein fans. Nostalgia sci-fi fans.

Would you ever listen to anything by Robert A. Heinlein again?

Absolutely.

What about Tom Weiner’s performance did you like?

He is great.

What character would you cut from Sixth Column?

No opinion.

Any additional comments?

Robert Heinlein’s the Sixth Column (1949) was written in 1941. It is a sort of embarrassing racist dated tome about the “Yellow Peril”. There was a reason that active U. S. military people were so forewarned. While a young naval officer on board the Lexington in 1932, the ship was dispatched to Pearl Harbor under strict radio silence when the Japanese moved into Manchuria. In the novel, Japanese (although they are never named as such) take over Colorado and the rest of the U. S. The talented reader can do all the voices and accents. The enemies speak like 1942 movie Japanese villains, Philip Ahn, J. Carol Nash, and the rest. Those are like the voices I heard on network radio dramas in the 1940’s. I am old enough to remember that era.<br/>I distinctly remember listening to “Terry and the Pirates” on V-Jay Day. Richard Loo type voice: “But, remember Terry Lee. The War is not yet ‘ova’.” But some flunky rushes in and says it IS ova. The radio people had to drop the prepared script and ad lib with a skeleton crew. All the rest were out in the streets celebrating. <br/>The underground U. S. Army guys had fantastic advanced death rays and other weapons with which to fight back. They organized a resistance from a religious temple in Denver.<br/>I can only think that the manuscript may have been unsellable in 1941, even though it may have seemed topical, but it reached the light of day in 1949 after Heinlein had become a name. It is certainly not “politically correct” from the perspective of today. It is a curiosity product from an author who was honing his craft. It is a must read for Heinlein fans who want to discover how he started in the early years. It may be a nostalgia adventure for those who recall the work the first time around.<br/>Tom Martin<br/>

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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interesting but dated

I guess the story holds up pretty well-known considering it is almost 70 years old. the characters are relevant but some of the social commentary seems naive. it is a fairly good length, maybe a touch too long. I like the narrator but if the text isn't exciting, he puts me to sleep.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Re-reading boyhood favorites

What made the experience of listening to Sixth Column the most enjoyable?

I first read this book as a teenager back in the early 60's. Not being much of a reader back then I read Stranger in a Strange Land as a English assignment and was hooked. I read everything Heinlein wrote after that. When I discovered his books in audible format I decided to revisit them. While dated it kind of took me back to my early days fo reading them for the first time.

What did you like best about this story?

Heinlein's imagination and futuristic thinking.

What three words best describe Tom Weiner???s performance?

Solid, average, likable

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not really. While this book was written about the time of WWII it now seems pretty heavy handed against the Japanese people and their culture. Understandable in the time that it was written.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Bit Rough -- An Early Heinlein Book

This is a very early book by Heinlein and it lacks the smoothness and complexity of his later works. The Red Dawn-type plot is pretty straightforward: The Pan-Asians have conquered the US. A small secret remnant of US soldiers remain. This handful of the military faithful (all male) includes a few scientists, an ex-lawyer who is now in command and a resourceful ex-hobo. Employing the guise of an over-the-top fake religion (the Cult of Mota) and few super-scientific weapons they endeavor to take their country back from the Imperial tyranny. There is some humor here, but the book is very much a product of its grim Cold War mythos. Not a pleasant read for the racially sensitive or politically correct. Very traditional pro-military outlook. Readers unfamiliar with Heinlein should definitely not start with this one -- try The Moon is a Harsh Mistress or Stranger in a Strange Land instead. Those are much better books. No complaints about the reader who does his best with what he has to work with.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Dated, But Fun!

This work of Heinlein reminds me of the original Buck roger's novel. A fun read, but dated, and it shows.

In a nutshell, a ragtag military team holds the key to saving a ravaged and conquered America (think circa 1955 feel) by an Imperialistic Asian conqueror nation, using technology so advanced that it seems like religious miracles or magic.

Can they quietly and successfully infiltrate the overwhelming Asian juggernaut occupying force that has beaten American citizens into a slave caste, before they are discovered and destroyed?

Again, it's dated, but worth a listen.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Pulp - But Heinlein

If you could sum up Sixth Column in three words, what would they be?

This is pulp science fiction, but it is Heilein; i.e. extremely well written. The plot is unrealistic. But I enjoyed reading one of the few Heinlein books that had escaped me. I have loved so many of his works that reading one I had missed was moving for me.

What other book might you compare Sixth Column to and why?

Rocket Ship Galelio <br/>Similar style, not as juvenile but also not as engaging.

What about Tom Weiner???s performance did you like?

He did many voices very well, even the gravely voiced one.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Great Story. Very fun listen

If you could sum up Sixth Column in three words, what would they be?

Classy Heinlein Story

Any additional comments?

This is the Heinlein I love. A great story written well with no preaching. After listening to Glory Road, which was not much more than another extremely preachy Heinlein book, I almost deleted this book without listening to it, but I'm so glad I didn't.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Fave Author - problemmatic book

This has Heinlein's trademark voice, obvious but not heavy-handed patriotism, decent characterizations (all male, in this case - womenfolk are all off screen), a sprinkle of political philosophy. The technology and military strategies are engaging. But, WOW. This is one hellaciously racist story. Whew! Product of its time. Narration was good for the most part. He did make one character vocal choice - a heavy, low voice for Thomas that seems strangled. Hurt my throat just listening to it

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  • Clive
  • 06-07-17

Typically good Heinlein. A little dated but v.good

Robert Heinlein's books are now quite old but remain technically excellent sci-fi classics. Recommended.

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  • Conchuir
  • 07-20-15

Grand

A 1950's view of what might happen if the Chinese ruled the Earth. A little scary considering that it will probably be true in 50 years. Plot was ok, but performance was actually quite good. Worth a try if you're looking for some bubble gum sci-fi.