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253 pages, Mass Market Paperback
First published January 1, 1954
This was a fun read once I got past some early jarring perspective switches — I don’t think Heinlein was accustomed from several perspectives like this. The book is filled with some of my favorite Heinlein characters, like the lovable Lummox, the quick-thinking Betty Sorenson, and especially the dedicated and decisive professional bureaucrat Mr. Kiku. But it also has a lot to say, including fairly progressive ideas (for the 1950s) about race, xenophobia, and gender. It couldn’t help but have had a positive effect on its readers along those lines.
(I have published a longer review on my website.)