By Pat Frank
"Alas, Babylon." these fateful phrases heralded the tip. whilst a nuclear holocaust ravages the U.S., one thousand years of civilization are stripped away in a single day, and millions of individuals are killed immediately. yet for one small city in Florida, miraculously spared, the fight is simply starting, as women and men of all backgrounds subscribe to jointly to confront the darkness.
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Extra resources for Alas, Babylon
Bek's nationalism takes the form of anti-foreign feeling, resentment of foreign superiority, a wish to vindicate Russian honor and to show that what other nations can do, Russians are also able to do, as well or better. Leonov's nationalism is positive, without any element of animosity toward foreign nations or hurt pride. It is based on a love for Russian forests and, through them, love for the land — the natural resources of the country itself. Professor Vikhrov's introductory lecture in his course on forestry, reported at length in the book, is a paean in praise of Russian history and nature, rather than a mere routine classroom performance.
As a young man, he is oblivious to the social situation in his country and the place of his own work within it. When during World War I he helps build a vehicle called a "bat," with wheels ten meters high, which will knock down trees and pass over any terrain, a friend puts questions to him which awaken his sense of social responsibility. The friend asks first: Are people going to be happier because of your motor? Berezhkov answers that he wishes to show the world that a young Russian designer has built the best airplane and the 35 INTERVAL OF FREEDOM best motor in the world.
Complete conformity had not been entirely achieved, however. Occasional critical and daring essays had still been appearing. Ilya Ehrenburg, for instance, in an article on "The Lessons of Stendhal" appearing in the early summer of 1957, stirred up a furor among Soviet critics by using a subtle discussion of the French novelist to cast aspersions on Soviet efforts to guide literature along narrow political paths. His essay contained long passages which, while ostensibly concerned with early nineteenth-century France, obviously alluded to contemporary Russia: "Important is not the personality of the tyrant, but the essence of the tyranny.
Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank