What I recall about Warday is little beyond it's the story of two men exploring the USA five years after a limited nuclear attack. In that way it's a little like David Birn's The Postman.The book is written epistolary, as if it's a journalism project, the main characters tell the story of their journey, and along the way present interviews with people they meet about their lives and experiences. It's a book that I recall fondly, and see it as a relic of the time.
As a child of the time it was written I can say that the possibility of a nuclear attack and the end of the world as we knew it (to quote a popular song of the time) was something that weighed heavily on the shoulders of my generation. We were the children of America Decline where big cities were on the brink of bankruptcy and the presidency was tainted. The idea that the men (and they were mostly me, but let's not forget that the Brits had a woman running the show) were going to end it all was real.
I can recall day dreaming about what I was going to do if the bombs were dropped, where I was going to go, what I needed to get there etc. A host of films, and pulpy mass market paperbacks had me ready for the worst.
Warday on the other hand, was a scary, but measured and even realistic look at how the world could change if the systems of an United Nations along with North Atlantic Alliances and Warsaw Pacts was to fail and fall. I thought of it today, when I rescued an old paperback copy from the free cart, I decided to give that copy to one of the younger guys I work with who is interested in the Post-apocalyptic genre, but it is one of those books that I also need to reread-- and I just noticed that it is listed as one of the books that I read in 1991.
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