Elliot Ackerman & James Stavridis, 2034: A Novel of the Next World War
Two former military officers and award-winning authors, Elliot Ackerman and Admiral James Stavridis, discuss their new book 2034: A Novel of the Next World War, a chillingly authentic geopolitical thriller that imagines a naval clash between the US and China in the South China Sea in 2034—and the path from there to a nightmarish global conflagration. The two authors will be joined by Pritzker Military Museum & Library board member Captain John “Jay” Allen Williams, PhD, USNR (Retired). This program takes place March 31, 2021 at 6:30 pm Central and will be hosted via Zoom. Register for the program here.
More about 2034:
On March 12, 2034, US Navy Commodore Sarah Hunt is on the bridge of her flagship, the guided missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones, conducting a routine freedom of navigation patrol in the South China Sea when her ship detects an unflagged trawler in clear distress, smoke billowing from its bridge. On that same day, US Marine aviator Major Chris “Wedge” Mitchell is flying an F35E Lightning over the Strait of Hormuz, testing a new stealth technology as he flirts with Iranian airspace. By the end of that day, Wedge will be an Iranian prisoner, and Sarah Hunt’s destroyer will lie at the bottom of the sea, sunk by the Chinese Navy. Iran and China have clearly coordinated their moves, which involve the use of powerful new forms of cyber weaponry that render US ships and planes defenseless. In a single day, America’s faith in its military’s strategic pre-eminence is in tatters. A new, terrifying era is at hand.
So begins a disturbingly plausible work of speculative fiction, co-authored by an award-winning novelist and decorated Marine veteran and the former commander of NATO, a legendary admiral who has spent much of his career strategically outmaneuvering America’s most tenacious adversaries. Written with a powerful blend of geopolitical sophistication and human empathy, 2034 takes us inside the minds of a global cast of characters—Americans, Chinese, Iranians, Russians, Indians—as a series of arrogant miscalculations on all sides leads the world into an intensifying international storm. In the end, China and the United States will have paid a staggering cost, one that forever alters the global balance of power.
Everything in 2034 is an imaginative extrapolation from present-day facts on the ground combined with the authors’ years working at the highest and most classified levels of national security. Sometimes it takes a brilliant work of fiction to illuminate the most dire of warnings: 2034 is all too close at hand, and this cautionary tale presents the reader a dark yet possible future that we must do all we can to avoid.
Praise for 2034:
“A frightening look at how a major-power showdown might race out of control…This compelling thriller should be required reading for our national leaders and translated into Mandarin.” —Kirkus (starred review)
“War with China is the most dangerous scenario facing us and the world. Absent a strategic method to manage our differences, Jim Stavridis and Elliot Ackerman’s chilling novel presents a realistic series of miscalculations leading to the worst consequences. A sobering, cautionary tale for our time.” —Jim Mattis, General, U.S. Marines (Ret.) and 26th Secretary of Defense
“Chilling yet compulsively readable work of speculative fiction…Ackerman and Stavridis have created a brilliantly executed geopolitical tale that is impossible to put down and that serves as a dire, all-too-plausible warning that recent events could have catastrophic consequences.” —Booklist, starred review
About the authors:
Elliot Ackerman is the author of several novels, most recently Red Dress In Black and White. His books have been nominated for the National Book Award, the Andrew Carnegie Medal in both fiction and non-fiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize among others. His writing often appears in Esquire, The New Yorker, and The New York Times where he is a contributing opinion writer, and his stories have been included in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Travel Writing. He is both a former White House Fellow and Marine, and served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart. He divides his time between New York City and Washington, D.C.
Admiral James Stavridis, USN (Ret.) spent more than thirty years in the U.S. Navy, rising to the rank of four-star Admiral. He was the Supreme Allied Commander at NATO and previously commanded U.S. Southern Command, overseeing military operations in Latin America. At sea, he commanded a Navy destroyer, a destroyer squadron, and an aircraft carrier battle group in combat. He holds a Ph.D. from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he recently served five years as dean. He has published nine previous books and hundreds of articles and is a frequent national and international television commentator as well as a Bloomberg Opinion weekly columnist, and a monthly columnist for TIME Magazine. He is chairman of the Board of Counselors of McLarty Global Associates, an international consulting firm, and an operating executive of the Carlyle Group, an international private equity firm.