What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

The Devil's Advocate
This topic is about The Devil's Advocate
SOLVED: Adult Fiction > SOLVED. Dystopian novel from 1960s(?). Society militarily ruled but resistance organization infiltrates. [s]

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Scott (last edited Oct 29, 2019 05:39PM) (new)

Scott McEwan | 8 comments The book starts with a resistance fighter being caught and beaten. His arm gets broken. Turns out the beating was by the resistance as a form of allegiance test. He then gets given an assignment to assume the identity of a military major (?) whose billeting is imposed upon a farm family. He is to make life miserable for people so they revolt against the military rule.


The overall military leader (I think was called "Premier"...or something like that) is universally hated. However the end of the book has the public finally revolt and assasinate the leader. It eventually is revealed that the leader was actually the leader of the resistance.

I don't think the term "Premier" is correct...but the book is named something like "The (Premier)". Read this in late '60s/early '70s so think it was published mid '60s. Have reviewed Goodreads' historical searches with no luck.

message 2: by Scott (new)

Scott McEwan | 8 comments Bump

message 3: by Scott (new)

Scott McEwan | 8 comments Bump

message 4: by Scott (new)

Scott McEwan | 8 comments Bump

message 5: by Kris (new)

Kris | 33320 comments Mod
Scott, around what year did you read this book?

What is the story's time period and location (Earth/planet, country, region, city)?

Can you tell us more about the main character - e.g., his age, job/skills, weapons, background/training, family/friends?

What type of practices/values is the resistance fighting against?

message 6: by Scott (new)

Scott McEwan | 8 comments I read this book in late 60s/early 70s.
Its time period isn't stated but it appears current day with cars, trucks, telephones being used...but no computers, mobile phones.
I'm assuming the author is trying to make a comment about real life USA so the story is based upon a North American societal model. As mentioned, it is in a militaristic run society. My remembrance of the story line would indicate NA agriculture with reference to "the grange"
The resistance group is based in isolated cells. One doesn't know of the others. They are trying to generate a revolt against the military rule by posing as military officials who then oppress the public. The main character is imposed on a farm family where he takes the best bedroom, best food...and even the daughter (but unknown to everyone except the reader, he arranges her escape).
The characters are military aged men & women.

message 7: by Scott (new)

Scott McEwan | 8 comments Bump

message 8: by Kris (last edited Mar 09, 2020 07:53AM) (new)

Kris | 33320 comments Mod
What is "the grange" and how does it work?

Is the impersonator's appearance surgically altered? (Somewhat like Wasp (1957) by Eric Frank Russell except it's science fiction?)

message 9: by Scott (new)

Scott McEwan | 8 comments Thanks Kris.

A "grange" is basically a farmer's cooperative. Used in the US they sponsor social activities, community service, and political lobbying.

No surgical alteration. The era of the story is undefined but seems to be 1950ish. No modern references to internet, mobile phone, computers, etc. and no special/imaginary medical processes.

This story isn't scifi, more a reimagining or reordering of society.

message 10: by Scott (new)

Scott McEwan | 8 comments Found it....The Devil's Advocate by Taylor Caldwell
A revolution is waged against a totalitarian government in this novel of a dystopian near-future America from a #1 New York Times-bestselling author.

In the heart of Philadelphia, insurgent Andrew Durant has been nursing a festering rage. And he's not alone. Through underground networks, he's found himself among a secret thousands, building an army called the Minute Men. They're readying themselves for war to reclaim what was once America.

In the nation now known as the Democracy, independent thought is a thing of the past. The Constitution is waste paper. A conscienceless president has been appointed by the military-for life. The government has co-opted farmland crops. Citizens are divided between two classes: wealthy corporations and the destitute. Areas of the country devastated by war or natural disaster remain unchecked. On behalf of national security, neighbors are instructed to spy on one another. Exposing those who are undemocratic is law. And all dissenters are eliminated.

Durant, the chosen agent for the poverty-stricken rural Democracy, finds himself increasingly isolated and afraid. Mobilizing revolutionaries has become a dangerous tactic; the Minute Men have their own traitors, infiltrators assigned to undo everything Durant and his men are fighting to conquer. Now, the rebels have only their beliefs left to trust.

A stunning dystopian vision in the tradition of George Orwell's 1984 and Ayn Rand's Anthem, The Devil's Advocate is author Taylor Caldwell's "tour de force" (Kirkus Reviews). More than a half-century after its original publication, this "courageous book" is timelier than ever (Chicago Sunday Tribune).

message 11: by Kris (new)

Kris | 33320 comments Mod
Great. Glad you found your book, Scott. Thanks for the update. Here's the link - The Devil's Advocate by Taylor Caldwell.

back to top