I read most of Tom Clancy’s books until he started writing about a secret, privately financed, vigilante organization…a bit over the top for even this old thriller writer. Up to that point and independent of his politics, I thought he could spin a good yarn backed by enough techno-babble that it all seemed real (see the Clancy quote running across the banner of this website). In fact, I’d wager that some higher mucky-mucks in the Pentagon weren’t happy at times with his description of U.S. and Soviet military capabilities.
More importantly, Clancy covered an era from Cold War to counterterrorism. His first two books, Hunt for Red October and Red Storm Rising, portrayed anti-Soviet operations featuring the U.S. Navy (the latter is an interesting Tolstoy-length account of what World War III might have been like). The last books I read focused on terrorism (did the Japanese pilot who flew his aircraft into Congress in Debt of Honor provide ideas for the 9/11 terrorists?). In between, he even touched on the emergence of China (The Bear and the Dragon), although he didn’t predict the kind of fascist capitalism that has taken over in that country.