World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks is ostensibly about zombies but it could be interpreted in many different ways. One could say it is a book about environmental collapse, globalization or terrorism.
Your call. But really it is about the human response to a truly global and transnational crisis. First it demonstrates how modern systems and technology have the possibility of catastrophic failure in the face overwhelming odds, and then goes on to show the strong survival instincts of mankind in a sort of “Lord of the Flies” style anarchy. And then how humanity can adapt.
It is a series of oral histories, all connected via the central thread of a worldwide zombie plague(I know…I was skeptical at first since I never understood the current fascination with zombies), which threatens the entire world population with gruesome, anonymous death.
The reason why I read this book in the first place is because I wanted to read a speculative history of the 21st century. Not like something about high technology, but more about how human beings would behave in the future. And how a major disruption to the world system could change the geopolitical landscape: for instance, Cuba becomes the world’s foremost economy.
It’s a good book, and a fast read and I recommend it.