“Whatever man has built throughout the centuries has been destroyed by man himself–because he could not leave Nature alone.”
This underappreciated science-fiction novel, which was written just five years after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger, still has a timely message about race and an important warning about trying to alter a man’s mind from the outside in.
A blunder with a rocket causes one-third of the world’s population to change green. Suddenly, all the “race” rules that have governed life are turned upside down. Racists attempt to keep “inferior” races in their supposed place by making databases of birth certificates and stenciling race markers on people’s arms. Then someone gets the bright idea to make everyone green so the world can be ONE race.
A second rocket is sent into the atmosphere–bringing about the destruction of mankind.
Paul Tabori lost his father in Auschwitz. His family was persecuted because of their race. If the book’s science is bad (some complain that it is wonky) and the characters one and all reprehensible (there are no good guys in this st0ry), Tabori is spot on in presenting a broad picture of the downfall of the human race because they can’t accept their differences.
“And I, who dreamt this dream, woke up in terror and tears. For I had dreamt of a world that was green and dead and I awoke in a world that was red and white, black and yellow; a world that was alive and not at peace. And my terror and my tears were because I did not know if the dream or the waking was reality; and of the two, which was evil and which was good.”by