Reader’s Forum — Alice Rydel

I was riveted by 2034. At first, I mistakenly pigeon-holed the characters’ roles: Chowdhury and Hendrickson: bureaucrats; Lin Bao: sinister with idyllic aspirations; Frankenstein Farshad: another bad guy; Hunt: heroine; and Wedge: eager to follow in his father’s, Pop’s and Pop-Pop’s footsteps. Then I started empathizing with the players, their situation and whether or not I liked them the scenario became all too real. As others have said, this is a brilliantly written book and an alarm call regarding the real possibilities of nuclear war.

Alice Rydel

Personally, I opposed the Vietnam War, but have a lot of respect for our military. I never cared much for the phrase “The Greatest Nation on Earth.” At some point, I think it was something to be proud of, but other nations scoffed, vied for or assumed the title. And “The Greatest” now clearly means power and power means might.

When millions upon millions of people are annihilated in seconds, there are no heroes or heroines. There is no greatness.

Alice Rydel is an activist with Independent Voting and lives in Manhattan.


Thursday, August 12th at 2pm ET
For the Politics for the People ZOOM Event
With 2034 Authors Elliot Ackerman
and Admiral James Stavridis


Founder of the Politics for the People free educational series and book club for independent voters. Chair of the New York County Independence Party.

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