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171 Robert Heinlein: Moon is a harsh mistress

Revolutionary colonists on the Moon use advanced technology and political savvy to fight for independence from Earth.

Robert A. Heinlein: Moon is a harsh mistress


The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is a science fiction novel that explores the story of the Lunar Revolution, where a group of colonists living on the Moon fight for independence from Earth. The colonists, aided by an advanced computer system and a charismatic leader, plot their revolution with the use of unconventional tactics and strategies. The story delves into themes of politics, power, freedom, and loyalty, and examines the complex relationship between technology and humanity.


Title: The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

Author: Robert A. Heinlein

Publishing year: 2006

Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons

Length in hours: 14 hours and 12 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. The use of technology is a double-edged sword that can be used for both good and bad.
  2. The importance of political organization and strategy in achieving goals.
  3. The value of loyalty and the sacrifices that come with fighting for what one believes in.
  4. The complexity of power dynamics and the need for a balance of power in society.
  5. The potential consequences of ignoring the needs and desires of marginalized groups.
Robert A. Heinlein: Moon is a harsh mistress

5 funny quotes

  1. "But I’m his only mother; genetically speaking, anyway."
  2. "I’m impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it."
  3. "The Earth is just too small and fragile a basket for the human race to keep all its eggs in."
  4. "I'm sure that a Martian scientist observing earth would scratch his head and say, ‘These humans are very odd little creatures.’"
  5. "Theology is never any help; it is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn't there. Theologians can persuade themselves of anything."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive."
  2. "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
  3. "Never underestimate the power of human stupidity."
  4. "A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot."
  5. "The best things in life are either immoral, illegal, or fattening."

5 dilemmas

  1. The ethical implications of a sentient computer system with the ability to think and reason like a human being.
  2. The balance between individual freedom and the greater good of society.
  3. The potential conflicts between different cultural and political systems on a global scale.
  4. The role of violence and aggression in the pursuit of political change.
  5. The question of whether it is ever justifiable to rebel against a governing authority, and if so, under what circumstances.

5 examples

  1. Manuel Garcia O’Kelly-Davis: a computer technician who becomes a revolutionary leader in the lunar colony.
  2. Wyoming Knott: a tough, street-smart smuggler who becomes a key member of the revolution.
  3. Prof: a brilliant but aging professor who joins the revolution for the sake of freedom and adventure.
  4. Mike: a sentient computer system that assists the revolutionaries in planning and executing their rebellion.
  5. Adam Selene: the personification of the lunar authority and a symbol of the revolutionary struggle for independence.

Referenced books

Other books quoted or referenced in "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" (five books):

  1. "1984" by George Orwell
  2. "On Liberty" by John Stuart Mill
  3. "The Federalist Papers" by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay 
  4. "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu 
  5. "The Martian Chronicles" by Ray Bradbury 

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"The Earth is just too small and fragile a basket for the human race to keep all its eggs in."

Robert A. Heinlein: Moon is a harsh mistress
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