Robert D. Mather, Ph.D.

The Conservative Social Psychology Blog
Review of "People's Republic"

“People’s Republic” is the first book in the Kelly Turnbull political fiction series by Kurt Schlichter. It is an action-packed adventure that stands alone as an action novel, but touches off a neural network of political history to readers who are knowledgeable about current politics and history. The novel is set in a time when the United States of America had split into liberal and conservative nations. The People’s Republic of North America (PRNA) held the coastal cities and some other areas for the liberals (Blues), while the United States of America held “flyover country” with the capitol in Dallas, Texas. Featuring details familiar to me early on like a Dallas ranch, a Glock 19, and Shiner Bock, I found the book very comfortable from my perspective. There is quite a bit of violence, with each incident outlined in great detail. The hero, Kelly Turnbull, is an ex-military solider-for-hire within the USA, tasked to retrieve an asset from Los Angeles deep in the PRNA.


One of the great strengths of this novel is Schlichter’s ability to attend to detail. In describing Turnbull’s plans and strategies it is written from the experience of a combat veteran. The author slips in many subtle reasons behind each dystopian detail, answering exactly the questions I ask in my mind with the subsequent sentences. These details are written with the eye of an operations/supply chain expert. All of this leads up to the heart pumping final showdown scene.


Though it may have seemed far-fetched fiction in 2016 when the book was published, it seems more realistic in 2020. It is easy for many in the USA to forget how realistic much of the novel is, and how many other countries are similar to how the PRNA is described. The dynamic of the USA and PRNA is similar to that of what happened in East and West Germany, a fact which is likely not lost on the author who served the U. S. Army from there. Recently, it is illegal for citizens to celebrate Christmas in North Korea, Cuba, and Somalia. That’s just one example of multiple places where government intrudes on liberty.


The book is gritty and intense, like what we face as a nation at this moment in time. It is not overly graphic in its violence. Though it talks about secession and a split nation, its lesson is to heed the warning and fix our problems now to avoid the brutality of a civil war. This type of warning is common among dystopian novels. Aldous Huxley did not want to see “Brave New World” come to fruition and George Orwell didn’t want to live on “Animal Farm” or in “Nineteen Eight-Four”. It is unfair to criticize Schlichter for writing these dystopian novels with the untrue assertion that he wants or promotes civil war. The books serve two purposes. First, “People’s Republic” is a literary bellwether of what to expect if we let our guard down as a society. Second, it’s just a damn fun, kick ass book to read.


Former “neo-conservative” Swamp cheerleader and RINO super booster Bill Kristol has commented on what he called “the appalling books of Kurt Schlichter”.  As I read “People’s Republic”, waiting for the appalling part to drop, I could feel the exact moment in the book that Bill Kristol became appalled. I suspect that he threw up when he read page 23. The book is not for the faint of heart. But if you are a conservative, if you like the action of “Die Hard” movies, and if you like to read, “People’s Republic” will be very entertaining. 


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