Friday, July 12, 2013

Commentary Blog: World War Z, It's about a lot more than Zombies

Over two years ago someone gave me a copy of "World War Z" on audio book, but being somewhat of a zombie hater, I did not take the time to listen to it.  When the trailer for "World War Z" the movie came out, I must admit that I was intrigued, but still not excited about seeing a zombie movie.  Last week I talked with a friend who had seen the film and he told me that it was not a gory film, but more of a smart, "make you think", film.  Three days ago I was fishing in the Uintah mountains listening to a book about the great depression (The Forgotten Man), it was more boring than it was depressing so I scrolled through my ipod looking for something more engaging and World War Z jumped out at me.  So I listened to it, all of it, in less than a day.  It was fascinating!  One of the most interesting geo-political books I have listened to or read in a long time.  Hands down the best fictional book on geo-politics that I have read or listened to.  Now you may say, "World War Z, I thought it is a book about zombies, not geo-politics!"  The zombies are simply the backdrop for a story about human interaction and national level reactions to an unexpected threat that could destroy the entire world.

If you have seen the movie, but have not yet read the book, I suggest you go back and read the book.  It is a clever compilation of interviews with eye witnesses from around the world.  I am not an expert on geo-politics, but I do teach social studies, with an emphasis on world affairs (particularly military related events) and I was very impressed with the author's (Max Brooks) knowledge of the world.  His understanding of complex world events is best illustrated by the interviews with an Israeli Intelligence Expert and a Palestinian youth.  If I could get past some of the audio-visual policies at our school I would have my students listen to those two interviews during our unit on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

I would strongly recommend this book (not necessarily the movie) to anyone who is interested in world history, geo-politics, and or military studies.  The other book that comes to mind that affected me on the same level was "Starship Troopers".


  1. Jeremy, it sounds like it is kind of a zombie version of the movie "Independence Day" - without the American patriotism overtones?

  2. Jeremy, I loved the book as well. I was hooked on the chapter that had great detail of the Israeli and Palestinian relationship and how they came together for this cause, I appreciated the intelligence and as you stated the geo-political take on the whole concept. I have not seen the movie yet, but I do have high hopes for it.