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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting experiment (look up Rodger W. Young) on the net.
As with any good sci-fi the story and descriptions of the latest gadget are important; however this is just the window dressing or vehicle to carry a message or concept to you with out sounding too preachy.

Basically this book is not fascist like the movie. It suggests that people should be responsible for their actions and have a stake in what they make...
Published on Oct. 2 2006 by bernie

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars STARSHIP TROOPERS
Less a slam-bang action-fest than a gutsy personal analysis of what makes for a realistic and attainable utopia, Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" fails to achieve great heights not because of the author's political agenda (the reason this book is continually labelled controversial), but simply due to poor pacing and a less than fully developed plot.
Told from...
Published on Aug. 22 2002 by K. Jump


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1.0 out of 5 stars Boring to read, better to watch (the film on dvd or video).., Aug. 4 2002
By 
Jork "Jork" (Cologne Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Starship Troopers (Mass Market Paperback)
OK, this book claims on it's cover to be a „controversial classic". I think it's neither. Endless recitations of boring military mimcry in terms of military and space war - blablah that makes you either laugh out loud or puke... unless you are a committed A-R-M-Y and W-A-R worshipper. It paints a picture of war not only as a necessity to solve conflicts (which is disputable on it's own) but as a cool way of giving Earth (or a nation) it's ONLY purpose of being. Novel's Plusses: tendency to give females an equal credibility in terms of technical skills, on first look no barriers between the nations and races of the world (except for Afro-Americans and Native Americans... and that tells a story of it's own... about a book describing expansion through war written by an US American author in the days of Cold War...). Watch the film skip the book! At least here the women are going ALL the way that men do (and don't stop short of the nitty gritty battle stuff) and some Afro-Americans get the chance to be decapitated alongside with their Caucasian or Asian or Hispanic or whatever soldier buddies... maybe that is what equality means? I dunno... The film focuses on making fun of the hilarious stupidity of war whereas the book does it's grimly and grisly best to glamorize it and give pseudo reasons for making war.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Military, Science Fiction, & Societal Philosophical Classic, July 17 2002
By 
This review is from: Starship Troopers (Mass Market Paperback)
Forget about the cheap Hollywood movie version, and read this great book! I just read this book for the second time (about 15 years after my first reading) and it re-confirmed my belief that this book is one of the best books I ever read.
As a career Officer of Marines, I grew up seeing this book on the U.S. Marine Corps Reading List - and now I completely understand why. Besides being an entertaining science fiction story, it is one of the best depictions of military life from an infantryman's perspective. Heinlein realistically captured the mood, fears, thoughts, language, and challenges of the average "Grunt" in a timeless and universal way.
I particularly enjoyed the societal philosophical aspect of the book. Written in 1959 during the Cold War, Heinlein's moral and political implications, carefully woven into the story throughout the book, are still thought-provoking, and some are probably still controversial even today.
Another interesting and very subtle yet powerful message from this book is that despite technological advances (e.g. the interactive individual armor suits, and ultra-sonic, powerful space transport ships), combat is still very personal and comes right down to the individual man on the ground engaging the enemy. Today's technology-blinded military transformers would be wise to reflect on Heinlein's view of the human element in war:

"We are the boys who go to a particular place, at H-hour, occupy a designated terrain, stand on it, dig the enemy out of their holes, force them then and there to surrender or die. We're the bloody infantry, the doughboy, the duckfoot, the foot soldier who goes where the enemy is and takes him on in person. We've been doing it, with changes in weapons but very little change in our trade, at least since the time five thousand years ago when the foot sloggers of Sargon the great forced the Sumerians to cry "Uncle!""
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5.0 out of 5 stars From private to lieutenant..., July 16 2002
By 
Isaac O. (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Starship Troopers (Hardcover)
There are a lot of aspects of this book that people address such as Heinlein's views on government, the military, and so on. But what struck me about this book is the description of Rico's transition from an ignorant civilian to a soldier to an officer. Though I can't compare my military career to his in some of the big ways (like combat), the dynamics that Heinlein describes between Rico and the people that he meets are right on. Having just been appointed a second lieutenant a few months ago, I can say that there were more than a few times where I thought "wow, that's familiar" to myself. And this is a book that was written 40 years ago--but just as applicable today. Five stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A controversial novel--is it Heinlein's best?, July 15 2002
By 
Joanna Daneman (USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Starship Troopers (Mass Market Paperback)
I've read nearly everything Heinlein ever wrote. I like to group his novels into three general categories. They are:
1. "Youth" novels such as the excellent "Citizen of the Galaxy", "Tunnel in the Sky" and "Podkayne of Mars." These feature young heroes or heroines in challenging situations.
2. "Future History" novels, such as "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress","Time Enough for Love", "Methuselah's Children", "To Sail Beyond the Sunset" and "Friday."
3. Novels with metaphysical or philosophical leanings such as "Stranger in a Strange Land" and "Starship Troopers."
You could put "Starship Troopers" in the category of a youth novels. Rico, the young hero of the novel is barely out of high school when he volunteers for military service in order to win citizenship privileges--and impress pretty fellow student Carmen. She's volunteering for service, hoping her mathematics talent will gain her a pilot's seat.
Wait! Citizenship privileges--what's that? Aren't we all endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and the vote? Well, not in John Rico's world. There, citizenship is earned by military service, and it isn't all flowers and pancakes, either. If war breaks out, your short stint becomes...indefinite.
So why would anyone risk life and limb, plus some very unpleasant times in boot camp, just to be able to vote? That's the philosophical underpinning of "Starship Troopers." Heinlein creates a republic based on a sort of responsible freedom, where liberty is granted, but the right to direct it is earned by those who paid in a stake.
So, is this book a boring political rant? Heck no! In amongst the lectures on liberty and good government a la Heinlein is an incredibly action-packed adventure. The Bugs are an alien race bent on destroying the Earth. And Earth armies have little idea how to stop them except they know they must do so to survive.
The scenes in boot camp are gripping. The battle scenes are realistic. The "special effects"--the armored suits the infantry wears are amazing "seven-league boots" that impart near-Superman powers on the soldier who wears it. The film that was based on this book caught the excitement of a society at war with a deadly enemy, but the book has more action than the film ever could have...and a lot more explanation of what motivates each character.
If you haven't read this, you are in for a real treat. This is, in my opinion, one of Heinlein's best novels, along with "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" and the rambling but brilliant "Time Enough For Love." It's so good that I almost make a fourth category for just "Starship Troopers" by itself. It's my favorite of Heinlein's works.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for any service-member, July 11 2002
By 
This review is from: Starship Troopers (Mass Market Paperback)
Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" offers one of the most accurate portrayals of military life (especially basic training) that I've ever encountered in a work of fiction, even taking into consideration the sci-fi genre. Although it is somewhat of a political diatribe, it is nonetheless wonderful to read. Hollywood didn't do it justice with the film...it could've been much more than flashy f/x and mediocre acting. Read it yourself...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Missing the Point, July 11 2002
By 
Brian Hickson (Jackson, MS, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Starship Troopers (Mass Market Paperback)
This is probably the most reviewed of all Heinlein books, and most are split between a "Utopian" (positive) or "Fascist" (negative) opinion. There has been so much said of it being a "Political" or "Military" book, but these labels miss the point... this is a book about a boy becoming a man and facing life...and death. The political and military sides are just normal Heinlein; these were the things he believed in. They set the stage to view the journey of Juan Rico from unthinking boy to leading the Roughnecks, and framed what he became, just as life frames us all... e.g., Sept 11th. It's not about the right to vote, or militarism, or killing bugs....It's about Juan growing up. The movie was unwatchable to this long-time Heinlein reader, but see "The Puppet Masters".. this is a fine movie which follows his book almost exactly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Have many of the reviewers actually read this book?, July 10 2002
This review is from: Starship Troopers (Mass Market Paperback)
I was going through ST again and decided to look at the Amazon reviews. I've seen various comments that it is about fascism and glorifies the military. Have you all actually read the book or just parroting something you heard? In the ST universe, everyone has equal rights except for the right to vote. It is restricted to those people who have proven a willingness to take responsibility for themselves and others, as demonstrated by their willingness to serve. And that service takes the principal form of military service for two reasons: first, because the government is itself extremely limited in nature and extent (comparable to the original intent of the United States Constitution); and second, because the story itself deals with person who goes from being a boy only interested in himself and impressing a girl to a man who realizes that there are things more important than himself, namely his comrades and his duty. That theme certainly has no fascist undertones, as it has been a central theme of fiction since humans began telling morality tales in the form of myth over campfires millenia ago.
As for Heinlein's depiction of how our society failed and was replaced, I was amazed that he accurately predicted many social phenomenon that were practically nonexistent in his day: juvenile gangs "wilding" through cities, social workers explaining away their actions, etc.
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4.0 out of 5 stars NOT FASCIST!, July 8 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Starship Troopers (Mass Market Paperback)
George Orwell once said that for many the word 'fascist' has no meaning except 'anything that I don't like or don't agree with'. Anyone who says that 'Troopers', 'advocates fascism' or that it 'sounds alot like Mein Kampf'...either doesen't understand Heinlein, or doesn't understand fascism, or both...Now, on to my review: In brief I will say that Starship Troopers is a compelling, highly readable work of moral and political philosophy with a little bit of adventure thrown in at the end. His description of boot camp and the military life rings true to any veteran, and his ideas, agree with them or not (and I must admit, I found myself agreeing more often than not) are compelling, and well argued. If you are looking for an adventure story, like the movie which is allegedly based on this book, then I suggest that you look elsewhere. But if you want to read a book that will cause you to re-think your whole philosophy of life then this book is highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Forget the movie; read the book, July 2 2002
By 
Susannah Gardner "author and reader" (Vancouver, BC Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Starship Troopers (Mass Market Paperback)
the movie was entertaining, but the book is exactly what you want from science fiction: fantastic, though-provoking, surprising and a great read. heinlein is philosophical, as usual, but he also shines creatively in this book. if you are a science fiction reader interested in "hows" and "whys," this will be a satisfying read. plus, he's not nearly as annoying about women in this book as he is in others.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heinlein's black sheep classic, June 22 2002
This review is from: Starship Troopers (Mass Market Paperback)
Starship Troopers is one of those books that you have to read over and over to fully get everything that goes on in it. It's a thinking man's book that is as entertaining as any work of popular fiction. Troopers is really philosophical/social/political novel. Unlike the film version, there isn't much war in it. Mostly Heinlein waxing philosophical.
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Starship Troopers
Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein (Mass Market Paperback - Jan. 11 2002)
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