Sixth Column Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Sixth Column

The United States, after many years of isolation has been conquered by the "Panasians" an apparent mixture of Chinese and Japanese people. The Panasians are extremly ruthless and vicious occupiers and they have the U.S. under complete control.
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"Whitey" Ardmore, an infantry Lt., stumbles upon an underground military laboratory in the Rockies. Even as the country has surrendered to the invaders, the scientists there have discovered something truly amazing...there are "spectra" analagous to the electromagnetic spectrum but involving the gravitational force as well as the electric and magnetic forces. These spectra can be used to kill micro-organisms, transmute elements and even selectively kill or stun people of different races. They also permit the establishment of an undetectable communications network.

Although devoid of scientific training, Ardmore a former advertising man, organizes the scientists and begins to manufacture weapons using this new branch of physics.

He decides to found a religion around the Lord Mota (atom spelled backwards) and sets up temples in all the major U.S. cities. Since the occcupation forces have a policy of not tampering with established religions (it keeps the locals happy), Ardmore has no real problem in doing this.

Each temple has a 'priest' secretly recruited from loyal Americans and equipped with an ornate staff that allows these priests to cure the sick and covertly transmute base material into gold to fund the whole operation.

These temples, linked by the non-detectable 'radio' now constitute a vast underground network. At the height of the book, the underground reveals itself and kills or disables the local Panasian officials in every important city.

Ardmore himself enters the palace of the Panasian governor, tells him that his subordinate administrators have been killed and that his military are completly demoralized and are surrendering. Placing the governor under arrest, Ardmore tell him that he will be given a proper trial...based on a brutal mass execution that the governor had ordered directly after the U.S. capitulated.

The governor commits ritual suicide rather than submit to the loss of face that would result from his being tried.

There are some good scenes in this book, one in particular where Dr Ledbetter, one of the discoverers of the new forces
and always an unstable character, decides that he really IS the Lord Mota and has to be killed.

Heinlein wrote that the basic scientific ideas were given him by John W. Campbell who wasn't able to construct a story around them.

The review of this Book prepared by Paul Egly

The United States is invaded by a group referred to as "Panasians". A group of scientists in a military installation are the only remnants of the government still free, and must work to subvert the invaders.
The review of this Book prepared by Kim Marks

Heinlein's first novel.
The review of this Book prepared by Philip A. Petmecky

The Panasians have taken over the government of the United States. A small group of scientists and soldiers must find a way to infiltrate and defeat the oppressive enemy.
The review of this Book prepared by -J

Chapter Analysis of Sixth Column

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 20%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 10%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 40% Tone of book    -   very upbeat FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Tech./$$$/Info hunt    -   Yes Stealing/recovering/destroying    -   weapon If an invasion, from Earth/human POV:    -   fighting overt invasion (attacking aliens) War or Invasion    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Inventing-of-item story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   infantry soldier


Terrain    -   Mountains Earth setting:    -   current (early 21st century) Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   explicit references to deaths scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   a fair amount of scientific explanation Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Sixth Column

Robert A. Heinlein Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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