From Publishers Weekly
Politically liberal readers will probably best appreciate Cohen's near-future thriller, in which corporate oligarchs run America and the middle classes acquiesce through fear of the displaced underclass, composed of those generally left behind by globalization. A coalition of trade unionists, environmentalists, religious groups and civil libertarians opposes the oligarchs. When the administration hacks electronic voting to rig elections, a general strike is called that's put down with Blackwater-style mercenaries. This leads a small group of activists to launch a campaign of assassinations and sabotage to force the government into allowing elections, but this triggers even more repression. While Cohen (Invisible World
) vividly describes the dynamics of a demonstration as it evolves into a riot, even those in sympathy with the author's message may find this paranoid fantasy too heavy-handed and strident for their taste. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
It’s the near future, and across the U.S., bands of citizens have begun guerrilla wars to take the government back from corporate oligarchs who have hijacked elections, shattered the economy, and raped the environment. One guerrilla is Joshua Sands, aka Lando, who is a founder of the Army of the Republic; one oligarch is James Sands, Lando’s father and a man who has made billions by controlling water sources needed by millions of Americans. Army of the Republic uses the Sands family to highlight the polarization. Lando fully expects to be hunted down and killed or disappeared by Whitehall, a Blackwater look-alike; his father believes himself to be an honorable man, and in some respects, he is. James Sands represents Cohen’s brief nod to nuance, but the bulk of the book is Cohen’s extrapolation of trends and events in the very recent history of the country: wars of choice, the politics of fear, deregulation, oil shock, torture, and on and on. A few people will call his polemical page-turner treasonous, but it should find plenty of supporters among those who think the country is moving in the wrong direction. --Thomas Gaughan