Tom Clancy, 1947-2013

tc2“my kind of yarn”—Ronald Reagan.    Clancy’s thrillers chronicled the waning days of the Cold War (Hunt for Red October, The Cardinal of the Kremlin) and the rising threats from international terrorism (Patriot Games, Sum of All Fears).   Clancy, an insurance salesman, studied military tech journals on the side before turning to fiction.  His first novel, the best-selling Red October, set his template: an au currant plot, accurate technical details, and a pro-defense ethos that was right for the times.    His reading  allowed Clancy to be on the cutting edge of events.  The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1998) had a sub-plot involving the Taliban.  In Clear and Present Danger, the CIA attempts to dismantle a Medellin-like drug cartel through covert ops and smart bombs.  Debt of Honor (1994) culminated with a terrorist plot involving civilian aircraft. Several of Clancy’s books have been translated into film (not always successfully). There is also a line of video games based on his characters.

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