Robert A. Heinlein is regarded by many as the greatest science fiction writer of the 20th century. He is the author of more than 30 novels, including Starship Troopers
, Stranger in a Strange Land
, and the libertarian classic The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
. According to biographer William H. Patterson Jr., Heinlein’s writings “galvanized not one, but four social movements of his century: science fiction and its stepchild, the policy think tank; the counterculture; the libertarian movement; and the commercial space movement.” This authorized biography, reviewed
enthusiastically by Michael Dirda in the Washington Post
, is the first of two volumes, covering Heinlein’s early ambition to become an admiral, his left-wing politics, and his first novels. Heinlein later became strongly libertarian.