Part II of an article series examining themes from the British dystopian series Years and Years that have become pertinent following the Russia-Ukraine War.
Part II of this article series begins by establishing the concept of Limited Nuclear War and highlighting its enduring significance as a sociocultural theme. I then examine the depiction of limited nuclear war in the British prophetic fiction series Years and Years, the predictive significance of which being the basis of this article and series. From this context is presented the following thesis: that the international developments ensuing from the Russia-Ukraine conflict are likely to provide the catalyst for the fulfilment of the nuclear threat born from the Cold War—specifically, in the form of limited nuclear war.
A compilation of my notes from the book: Plagues and Peoples, by William H. McNeill (1976); complimented by my summarizing sub-headings.
As quoted by the Lancet behind the front cover of this book,
Professor McNeill is an American historian with a sound grasp of epidemiological principles.
As McNeill points out himself in this book (which can be seen immediately in the notes to follow), historians systematically gloss-over the significance of epidemic disease.
In choosing to read Plagues and Peoples third in my sequence of pandemic-themed books, I identified it as the one most complimentary to Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year: for while the latter is “the prototype of all accounts of great cities in times of epidemic”, the former has to be one of, if not the most substantial attempts at a historicalinterpretation of epidemics (—which is quite distinct from an epidemiological interpretation of history, I would add).