We are in a world of change like our own". Silver's only complaint was with "Good-Byes"—the final chapter—in which characters get a chance to give a final closing statement.
The framing device for the novel follows Max Brooks, author of the Zombie Survival Guide referred to simply as "the civilian survival guide" in this book and agent of the United Nations Postwar Commission, as he travels the world interviewing survivors of this zombie plague.
The s saw the so-called "war book boom," during which many men who had fought during the war were finally ready to write openly and critically about their war experiences.
However, the US president argues for going on the offensive, and a general vote results in most countries either voting "no" or "abstain" while the remainder decide to attack.
People quickly turn on one another, using the loss of order as an excuse to be destructive and violent. Bringing to bear a rather unusual combination of perspectives—daughter of peacenik activists, international law professor, former DOD staffer, and special forces wife—she digs down deep into the implications of these trends for human rights, rule of law, and the nature and mode of operation of the military and the state.
Her tentative answer to this quandary is that we need to acknowledge the existence of inbetween spaces, of a spectrum between peace and war, and develop laws, rules and procedures to deal with them, allowing the US and other countries to act effectively to protect their citizenry, while properly constraining the power of the executive over life and death, perhaps bringing in some measure of judicial oversight into extra-battlefield drone strikes.
Robert thinks that the German was reaching for his rifle when he was actually reaching for a pair of binoculars to look at a bird flying overhead.