The Kingdom of America

By E. B. Alston


By the year 2020, in a United States beset by corruption and ineptitude at all levels of government, every minor incident quickly becomes a paralyzing national disaster. A man of courage and determination is elected governor of North Carolina. The legislature passes a draconian crime control bill, which is implemented with medieval ferocity. Soon North Carolina is an island of peace and tranquility. His policies spread to other states and soon the United States has a state within a state, one prosperous and tranquil, the other lurching from one disaster to another. In 2049 it separates from the United States and calls itself America.


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     The Kingdom of America is set between the years 2020 and 2098.  In this time frame one family - the Clark’s- through perseverance, sheer force of their personality, and a political program that suited the masses achieved political power.  They adopted the ancient Roman emperor’s autocratic manner and became more and more aristocratic.  Because their political programs were successful, (the crime rate was reduced, unemployment was non-existent, the education system was unrivalled, the economy flourished) the rank and file populace continued to support the Clark family.  They in turn become addicted to power, institutionalize a monarchial system and designate a king.  The kingdom is powerful and eventually takes over most of present day United States, Mexico, a large part of Canada and several overseas countries.

E.B. Alston is a master at “what would happen if.”  What would happen if one man with a forceful personality got elected as governor on a crime reduction platform?  What would happen if his crime reduction methods were so successful he applied them to education?  What would happen if he became so popular he could appoint anyone he wanted to any level of government?  What if he had absolute control over the news media?  What if every male person in his jurisdiction had to serve in the military?  What would happen if he became so powerful he could ignore the wishes of other countries?  Most important, what if he was highly successful with all the above and at the same time the populace was supportive and the economic condition sound?  How far could one man go?

The perfect balance to all the power and absolute authority inherent in the King is his wife.  She is everything he is not.  Their courtship and married life allows the reader to experience both sides of the social society in the kingdom.  The queen is personable, warm, and views all decisions from the individual’s perspective.  The king is aloof, always imposing and he never considers the plight of the individual.

This is a really great futuristic novel.  One has no trouble at all believing the logic of the story.  The author does an exceptional job of balancing the personal vs. public life of individuals as well as giving a broad overview of life in general for both private and public figures. 

The really un-nerving part of this entire book is how easily the chain of events described in The Kingdom of America could come about.  The reforms described are needed.  But, once a severe tolerance plan is set in motion, would today’s society have the where with all to curb the corruption that would result, or would we release a monster far greater than the evils in Pandora’s Box?  It is questions like this that will make one pause and consider before each new chapter.  This book is definitely one to re-read.


Judy Jacobs /  October 30, 2005