What a Dark-Age Ideology Can Do

The prolific author Nelson DeMille uses his experiences as a former history major and Viet Nam veteran to write compelling stories.  His latest book, The Quest, draws upon events of the 1970s.  Readers will find it fascinating how this book and many of his other books can be compared to today.  American Thinker had the privilege of interviewing Nelson DeMille about his uncanny ability to write convincing plots.

The Quest is a reminder of the brutality of Marxist regimes.  The setting is Ethiopia during the 1970s as the 3,000-year-old dynasty came to an end at the hands of the Marxist rebels.  DeMille emphasizes the ruthlessness of the African and Muslim nations: he says, in writing about the revolution, "Men like that are taking over the world...what the hell has gone wrong[?]"  In explaining it, DeMille noted, "They just shot three hundred members of the royal family.  I wanted to write how Marxists typically tried to kill and eliminate the aristocracy.  The brutality against the ruling class was a knee-jerk reaction, which unraveled that society.  The violence can be a history lesson for today when all this cruelty is being inflicted on the Coptic Christians in Egypt and Syria.  I find it interesting that no one is saying anything about this yet during the Serbian-Bosnian War; when the Muslims were killed, everyone was outraged."

The book also gives readers a strong flavor of the 1970s.  DeMille considers that decade very depressing, considering the defeat in Viet Nam, the gas shortages, and the hyperinflation.  He thinks that that era began "the erosion of American supremacy, including Western values and culture that led to political instability in the world.  Look no farther than the Middle East, where demagogues took advantage and came to power.  Just as today, in the 1970s, there were weak presidents in both Ford and Carter.  We were lucky, because America elected Ronald Reagan, who was able to bring back America's status."

Many of DeMille's books discuss the current threat of Islamic extremists.  His early books, such as The Lion's Game, published in 2000, are cautionary tales -- a wake-up call to the dangers.  Last year he wrote a gripping tale: The Panther, based in Yemen, has the USS Cole as a backdrop and is about fanatical Muslims.  Showing Yemen as a backward country culturally, DeMille hopes that readers will comprehend how "the Muslim religion has not evolved into the 20th and 21st centuries.  The way they treat women, their political system, and the culture leaves no room for diversity."  There is also his anger over the political correctness of the politicians; as stated in the book, "[t]he Navy's Rules of Engagement that were rewritten by some committee of politically correct, ball-less wonders in the bowels of the Pentagon."

Another of his books, Night Fall (2004), is about TWA Flight 800.  This past July, a documentary asked questions about the reasons why TWA Flight 800 crashed.  But DeMille raised these questions much earlier.  In the back of his mind, he thinks that a missile brought the plane down.  The book makes a convincing argument by referring to the more than two hundred eyewitnesses who reported that they saw a rocket.  He told American Thinker, "Someone I know was on a yacht with his family.  His young son pointed out the 'fireworks,' which everyone said later was a rocket that exploded.  What I cannot believe is how the FBI used 19th-century technology to interview the witnesses.  Statements were taken down with a notepad instead of videotaping or at least audiotaping their recollections.  This is ridiculous, considering something of this magnitude.  The effect of the current documentary is that there is much more of an impact when you see and hear what people said instead of reading a transcript."

A few of DeMille's books, including The Talbot Odyssey and The Charm School, centered on the Cold War.  In his next book, he hopes to show how the Russians are still the bad guys even though the Cold War has ended.  "Putin was able to regain power and take the advantage because of the weakness projected by this administration.  Everyone is up in arms about what Putin said about America's exceptionalism but forget that Obama said the same thing.  He never learned how to be a commander-in-chief."

Whether writing about current events or past incidents, as in The Quest, DeMille sounds the alarm.  He reminds his readers of the brutality of nations due in large part to their Dark-Age ideology.

The author writes for American Thinker.  She has done book reviews and author interviews and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.

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