In light of what I wrote about earlier today, I strongly recommend that everybody — every one of us — read John Steinbeck’s short, and now almost forgotten, 1942 novel The Moon is Down.
Here’s the only free copy I could find online. Not a great one.
UPDATE: That indefatigable archivist, Bill St. Clair, has put a much more attractive and easily readable version online. According to commenter Woody, Bill’s version can also be ported to Kindle and other devices (if you have Caliber software). Thank you, Bill!
And here it is from Amazon in Kindle, hardback, paperback, and even (strangely enough) audiocassette.
The Moon is Down is a war story of an unusual kind. It’s set almost entirely in living rooms and drawing rooms, with the violence offstage. It’s about what happens when ordinary, peaceable people are conquered — but not defeated — by an invader. What happens when a top-down organization that prides itself on its superiority and meticulous planning meets that most unknowable of all things … the ordinary individual.