Some authors seem to have an uncanny ability to pierce behind the curtains and see what a not too-faraway future has in store for us, and Scott Brody does a shockingly accurate job of it.
As a US citizen, it is vital to be aware of how fragile our government is and how charismatic public personalities can harbor dangerous inner demons, especially in troubled times like these.
As a college freshman and member of a small cult party back in the early 70s, Scott Brody didn’t know that, in 2020, a global pandemic, earthquakes, and street protest will hit our country almost at the same time. But he knew he wanted to write a book. When the book was finally released earlier this year, both author and readers were surprised to see how relevant this political thriller quickly became.
Set in the near future, as climate change is getting worse, The Org makes an excellent read for those interested in politics or environmentalism. Lee Beloit, a character you’ll either love to hate or hate to love, is the leader of the tiny political party EcoPartyUSA. He is propelled into the national arena when one of his followers is killed and uses that event to build his following and fight climate change. At first he seems unstoppable, with an unmatched willpower and incredible charisma, but very few know that Lee Beloit has Bipolar Disorder, which leads to periods of withdrawal and depression. The story follows Beloit and his campaign for President while exposing us to the ugly truth of what happens behind the scenes.
James Roth, a member of the cult, joined the EcoPartyUSA because he believed they could make a difference. The ex-boyfriend of the woman who was killed, he is determined to uncover the killer or killers. In the course of his search for the truth, James reveals things that could end Beloit’s campaign. Yet, his idealism keeps him there working for the campaign in the fight against Climate Change.
Climate Change is a major theme in Brody’s book. It has caused the kind of situations we’ve experienced all over the US for the past few months: food panic buying, supplies going down, pricing spiking, street riots, and clashes between authorities and the population. It exhibits startling parallels between our coming climate crisis and the civil unrest we are now seeing in the fight against institutional racism, and challenges us to recognize when leaders use the things that matter most to us to gain power for themselves.
“The book is an alarm signal about where we could get if we don’t take action now. Climate change is going to be a fight, a real fight, and I’m not sure people are taking that seriously. So I’m trying to make people look a little further down the road and see what could happen. Climate change doesn’t work unless all the countries of the world figure out a way to work together, and so far, they could never do that, which makes it seem impossible. In my mind, the COVID-19 experience is a precursor to all of that because we have to work together,” says Brody.
Working together means, especially for those in power and politicians, recognizing the needs of the world beyond protecting the here and now, and looking for what unites us instead of what divides us. It means speaking our truth and, somehow, believing it’s not too late for us to make a change, like James Roth. It means keeping our eyes open and making sure we’re not following our leaders blindly, and holding them accountable when they make decisions that hurt people.
The Org is based on Scott Brody’s experiences—although the majority of characters and events are fictional— and passion for politics. In the ’60s, a teenage Scott Brody joined in the political and cultural ferment of the time. He marched against the war in Vietnam, listened to Jean Shepherd on WOR and WBAI until all hours, read Ray Bradbury and Ramparts. The summer he graduated from high school, he went to Woodstock. In 1976, after graduating college, he ran for Congress on the US Labor Party. Because of these things, he gives a unique view of today’s issues as seen by someone who has lived through many of these kinds of crises before.
Rated five-stars by the readers, The Org is available in paperback and digital on Amazon and other major retailers.