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Ratings and Reviews (16 159 star ratings
16 reviews
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Overall rating

4.2 out of 5
159
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Great read

    I thought provoking read! I had seen the movie and always hesitated to read the book. Glad i finally read it!!
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    Classic

    The book is not like the movie. Less focused on war and more on the political system and military training on earth at this time. Interesting read and not very long.
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    This may well be the most misunderstood novel in Heinlein's canon, and that's no mean feat. Unfortunately, the debate over its political system tends to overshadow the basic story of an infantryman at war, which is well worth reading on its own merits. The political system, in which one must spend some time in service to the government before being able to vote, is but one of several ideas Heinlein came up with for taking the franchise out of the hands of those who do not value it enough to use it wisely. Yes, the story does get a bit preachy at times, especially when exploring such philosophical matters. However, the book occupies a unique place between his "juveniles" and his adult books, and I would recommend it to any SF reader.
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    Another sermon

    Heinlein has had many good ideas for stories and has often spoiled his genius because he spent most of his words in preaching a sermon about how clear-sighted he was and how blind everyone else was. That would be okay if only he had been correct.
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    Critics who call this book "controversial" overlook two fundamental facts: it was written for young readers, teenagers; it is not about the military action or even about the society where it is set. It is about morals, justice and ethics. Heinlein anticipated the debate over individual responsibility and free-will. How would criminal law work without the concept of retribution, replacing it with the painful, individual decision between rehabilitation and death? Decades before the concept of "selectorate," as described by Bruce B. de Mesquita et al. in "The Dictator's Handbook", Heinlein proposes a practical way of determining voting rights in exchange for practical civic duty. The ethics of corporal punishment, especially for children, are discussed not in terms of cruelty and revenge, but in terms of careful, surgically applied learning vocabulary. Teaching is firm and impersonal, good parenting is everything. Starship Troopers does not sell an ultra-conservative world view. Instead, it dismisses collectivist alternatives as unsuitable for free human expression and development. Misguided readers, such as the screen-writers and director of the first film adaptation, do not see this or are not brave enough to propose it to a politically correct audience. It takes some courage to read and understand. This applies to each and every one of the many books written by Robert Anson Heinlein.
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