Democrat Joe Benton has just been elected in 2032, a world that has seen global warning truly start to erode the coast line. One of his policy promises is a Relocation package that involves moving citizens from cities on the coast that have been wiped out due to the climate change. Benton believes he has the potential to be one of few presidents that changes his country, and possibly the world, for the better.
When the previous president calls Benton in to a meeting and tells him that the effects of global warming are much worse than what is expected, that if no changes are made, Miami will be under water and California will be forever in a drought, Benton's priorities must change. He learns that the government was in negotiations with China, the world's largest pollution emitter, to cut back emissions but that no progress had been made. Benton brings in his own team to learn about Chinese politics and how to best go about negotiations with them to reach a common resolution.
What results is a political thriller like none I've ever read before. Glass takes you behind the scenes and into the room of a president and his advisers discussing all the options and all the alternatives of a single action. It's obvious that a lot of research and thought was put into this book. I really appreciated how logical the arguments were and how I could agree with what both sides were saying. I'm definitely glad I wasn't in Benton's position. I don't know if I'd be able to make those decisions.
Since I'm not American, I had trouble keeping in mind which character was in which position and what exactly that position entailed (cheifs, secretaries, ministers, etc.). However, the balance of characters was great. Each brought a different view to the table. Despite being a large book, I was turning the pages wondering what was going to happen and the end had my heart racing as I tried to read as quickly as possible to find out how Benton was going to pull through.
This has been my best read of the year!
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First Line: "He came onto the stage just before eleven o'clock."