From the back cover, a blurb on this book written by William R. Fortschen: “A story in which one man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war that sends our nation back to the Dark Ages. A war lost because of a terrifying weapon, an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)…that may already be in the hands of our enemies. Months before publication [it was published in 2009], One Second After has already been cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read. It has been discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as realistic look at EMPs and their awesome ability to send catastrophic shockwaves throughout the United States, literally within seconds. EMPs are a weapon that The Wall Street Journal warned could shatter our nation. In the tradition of On the Beach, Fail-Safe, and Testament, this book, set in a typical American town, is a dire warning of what might be our future…and our end.”
Think of an EMP as a “continental time machine that would move us back to the nineteenth century.” It is a chilling read, folks, so if you are fearful, avoid it because you will have trouble sleeping at night. Indeed, I had a difficult time getting through it precisely because it was so real and so believable. And yes, I too think everyone should read it because I agree with Gen. Eugene Habiger, USAF (Ret) Former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Strategic Command, that “It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when.”
What amazes me is that Congress has done next to nothing about it (although I’d be willing to bet they’re all secretly stockpiling at their homes). There has been no hardening of the nation’s electrical power infrastructure or the civilian and military critical electronic infrastructures whose collapse would trigger catastrophic consequences and cause the permanent collapse of our society. And the public for the most part is clueless, although thanks to the Internet the word is spreading. Nat Geo did a special and a good site to visit is EMPact America. The more people who prepare, the better off we’ll be. Although to be honest, I don’t know that I’d want to be a witness, to live long enough to see what people who are hungry and trying to survive will do to each other.