World War Z

World War Z

by

Max Brooks

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The American President Character Analysis

The President of the United States at the time of the war is described as a soft-spoken but steely leader. The Whacko says he was a man of principles who insisted on holding elections even in those difficult times since he believed in the power of democracy. He came up with creative ideas to solve problems within the safe zones—for instance, he instituted public flogging to punish crimes rather than wasting resources on creating and maintaining prisons. Later, he convinced the U.N. to begin an attack against the zombies to retake land from them and eliminate them. Though many countries were hesitant to do this, the President convinced them that this was the only possible step to ensure mankind’s survival and dignity. However, all the years of stress finally ended up taking a huge toll on him. He died of sorrow during the years of the war, heartbroken by the level of destruction everywhere. The America President is an example of an honorable leader who is motivated by a desire to do right by his people.

The American President Quotes in World War Z

The World War Z quotes below are all either spoken by The American President or refer to The American President. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Three Rivers edition of World War Z published in 2006.
Chapter 7: Total War Quotes

They let us sleep as late as we wanted the next day. That was pretty sweet. Eventually the voices woke me up; everyone jawing, laughing, telling stories. It was a different vibe, one-eighty from two days ago. I couldn’t really put a finger on what I was feeling, maybe it was what the president said about “reclaiming our future.” I just knew I felt good, better than I had the entire war. I knew it was gonna be a real, long-ass road. I knew our campaign across America was just beginning, but, hey, as the prez said later that first night, it was finally the beginning of the end.

Related Characters: Todd Wainio (speaker), The American President
Related Symbols: Zombies
Page Number: 282
Explanation and Analysis:

Fifteen thousand dead or missing. […] “Go! Go! Fight! Fight!” It didn’t have to be that way. How long did it take the English to clear all of London? Five years, three years after the war was officially over? They went slow and safe, one section at a time, low speed, low intensity, low casualty rate. […] That English general, what he said about “Enough dead heroes for the end of time…”

“Heroes,” that’s what we were, that’s what our leaders wanted, that’s what our people felt they needed. After all that has happened, not just in this war, but in so many wars before: Algeria, Indochina, the Nazis…you understand what I am saying…you see the sorrow and pity? We understood what the American president said about “reclaiming our confidence”; we understood it more than most. We needed heroes, new names and places to restore our pride.

Related Characters: Andre Renard (speaker), The American President
Page Number: 314
Explanation and Analysis:
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The American President Character Timeline in World War Z

The timeline below shows where the character The American President appears in World War Z. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5: Home Front USA
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
The Fragility of Privilege and Modern Life Theme Icon
Burlington, Vermont. The narrator is interviewing the former vice-president who insists on calling himself “the Whacko” because everyone else calls him that. He says... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
Fear Theme Icon
Even in the chaos of those times, the president had insisted on elections, which had surprised the Whacko. The president had said calmly that... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
Many of the president’s ideas seemed “crazy at first glance,” but were all very logical. For instance, he said... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
Fear Theme Icon
...who believed they were acting against god’s will. One of them tried to murder the president. There were also the Greenies, ecoterrorists who tried to protect trees from being cut down.... (full context)
The Cost of War Theme Icon
...and the Whacko admits he still has nightmares thinking about it. This ultimately destroyed the president’s spirit and killed him. (full context)
Chapter 6: Around the World, and Above
Fear Theme Icon
The Cost of War Theme Icon
Then, the American president calmly began speaking, saying that the living dead had turned humanity into “a shaken, broken... (full context)
Chapter 7: Total War
The Cost of War Theme Icon
...he was in love with. There were also many psychological casualties. Wainio says that the president was one of these people. (full context)