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World War Z

World War Z

  

by Max Brooks

World War Z Allusions and Cultural References

When authors give shout outs to other great works, people, and events, it's usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literary and Philosophical References

  • Karl Marx, A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right (2.1.24), (8.4.15), (9.2.8)—when a character comments about "the opiate/opium of the people," it is a direct reference to this text.
  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (2.6.5)
  • Marxism (6.1.3)
  • Jules Verne (7.8.10)—the International Space Station's ATV is named after this famous science fiction author.
  • Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front (8.1.10)
  • J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (8.2.3)
  • Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (8.7.21)—humans stranded by the zombie horde are given the nickname, Robinson Crusoes

Historical Events References

  • The Korean War (2.1.3), (4.7.37), (7.3.2), (7.3.4)
  • The Sino-Soviet Border Conflict (2.1.25)
  • The Yom Kippur War (2.6.8)—the date "October of 1973" refers to this Palestine-Israeli conflict (also known as the October War, the Ramadan War, and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War).
  • Operation Entebbe (2.6.15)—Jurgen's mention of Entebbe probably refers to this counter-terrorism operation. Dude's a spy after all.
  • The Six-Day War (2.7.5)—when Saladin says "the '67 War of Zionist aggression," he's referring to this war (a.k.a. the June War and the Third Arab-Israeli War).
  • The Attack on Pearl Harbor (3.1.3), (4.7.2)
  • The Vietnam War (3.2.25), (4.5.2), (7.8.12), (8.1.13), (9.3.2)
  • The Black Death (3.3.16)
  • Ebola, SARS, and Avian Bird Flu Outbreaks (3.3.16)
  • Soviet War in Afghanistan (4.4.11)
  • The Second Chechen War (4.4.11), (8.4.13)
  • UNESCO's World Heritage Program (4.6.1)
  • Battle of the Little Bighorn (4.7.2)
  • Cold War Strategic Defense Initiative (4.7.9)
  • The Blitzkrieg (4.7.56), (7.1.41), (7.6.3)
  • 2003 Second Gulf War and "Shock and Awe" (4.7.56)
  • The Cold War (5.2.5), (7.6.3), (7.8.13)
  • World War II (5.2.9), (6.1.8), (6.1.18), (6.4.31), (7.1.41), (7.2.1), (7.4.7), (8.2.4), (8.3.36), (8.4.28), (8.5.14), (8.6.4), (8.6.27), (9.1.2), (9.3.2), (9.5.4)
  • The New Deal (6.1.3)
  • LZ 129 Hindenburg and the Hindenburg Disaster (6.1.25)
  • Taliban's Afghanistan (6.2.14)
  • The Moon Landings (6.4.44)—the first moon landing was on July 20, 1969
  • Splitting the Atom (6.4.44)—or nuclear fission if you want to get sciencey about it
  • The Kukulkan Battle at Yucatan (7.1.2)
  • 1992 Windsor Castle Fire (7.1.29)
  • The North Korean Famine of 1992 (7.3.4)
  • The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (7.5.2), (8.1.13)
  • The Civil War (8.2.2)
  • Invasion of Dagestan (8.4.13)
  • Iranian Revolution (8.4.18)
  • The French Resistance of WWII (8.6.4)
  • The Battle of Verdun (8.6.20)
  • The Algerian War (8.6.27)
  • The First Indochina War (8.6.27)
  • The Dark Ages (8.7.48)
  • The Great Depression (9.5.4)

Historical Places References

  • The Three Gorges Reservoir (2.1.18), (7.7.113), (7.8.19), (7.8.23)
  • The City of Ghosts in Fengdu County (2.1.24)
  • Masada (3.5.1)
  • Red Square (4.4.25)
  • Old Salem, MA (6.2.14)—based on context, we also assume he's referring to Salem's famous Witch Trials
  • The Roman Aqueducts (6.5.76)
  • Kost "the Bone" Castle (7.1.1)
  • Machu Picchu (7.1.2)—see footnote
  • Vilcabamba (7.1.2)—see footnote
  • Fort Jefferson (7.1.3)
  • Châteaud'Ussé (7.1.9)
  • Prague Castle (7.1.9)
  • Palace of Versailles (7.1.10)
  • Muiderslot Castle (7.1.11)
  • Marksburg Castle in Braubach (7.1.12)
  • Château de Pierrefonds (7.1.12)
  • Castle of Diósgyőr (7.1.12)
  • Château de Fougères-sur-Bièvre (7.1.13)
  • The Antonine Wall (7.1.14)
  • Kisimul Castle (7.1.14)
  • Château de Chenonceau (7.1.14)
  • Bouillon Castle (7.1.17)—no relation to the bouillon cube
  • SpišCastle (7.1.17)
  • Beaumaris Castle (7.1.17)
  • Conway Castle (7.1.17)
  • Caerphilly Castle (7.1.17)
  • Windsor Castle (7.1.24), (7.1.30), (7.1.39)
  • Varanasi (7.2.16)
  • The Ganges River (7.2.16)
  • The Korean Demilitarized Zone and the 38th Parallel (7.3.2), (7.3.6), (7.3.8), (7.3.11), (7.3.12)
  • North American Aerospace Defense Command or NORAD (7.7.119)
  • International Space Station (7.8.1)
  • Katse Dam (7.8.22)—see the footnote
  • Aconcagua, Chile; Stellenboch; South Africa; Bordeaux, France (7.9.13)—all places famous for their wine
  • Sears Tower (8.7.23)

Historical People References

  • People's Liberation Army of China (2.1.15)
  • Mao Zedong (2.2.8), (7.7.8)
  • Chinese Mafia (2.2.20)
  • Ottoman Turks (2.3.1)
  • The Yanomami (2.4.1)
  • Adolf Hitler (2.6.8), (5.2.9), (6.3.22), (7.3.4)
  • Saddam Hussein (2.7.2)
  • Joseph Stalin (3.1.14), (8.4.7)
  • Sir Wilfred Grenfell (4.2.15)
  • House of Romanov (4.5.12)
  • General George S. Patton (4.7.44)
  • Hitler Jugend or Youth (5.2.18)
  • Henry J. Kaiser (6.1.3)
  • Vo Nguyen Giap (6.1.3)
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt (6.1.3), (9.8.5)
  • Ayn Rand (6.1.3)
  • Norman Rockwell (6.1.13)
  • Caesar (6.2.13)—based on context, probably but not necessarily a reference to Julius Caesar
  • Patty Hearst (6.3.22)—one of the more famous cases of Stockholm Syndrome
  • Vidkun Quisling (6.3.22)—shout-out hidden "Where's Waldo?" style in the footnote
  • Fidel Castro (7.6.4), (7.6.21), (7.6.24)
  • Niccolò Machiavelli (7.6.4)
  • The Conquistadors (7.6.7)
  • Fulgencio Batista (7.6.15)
  • Che Guevara (7.6.26)
  • Winston Churchill (7.6.26), (7.9.5), (9.1.2)
  • Augusto Pinochet (7.9.8)
  • General Douglas MacArthur (8.1.5)
  • Admiral William Halsey, Jr. (8.1.5)
  • Major General Curtis E. LeMay (8.1.5)
  • John Lethbridge (8.5.6)—see footnote
  • Clement Attlee (9.1.2)
  • Hell's Angels (9.3.2)

Religious References

  • Al Aqsa Mosque (2.7.14)
  • Quran, Sura 8:55 (2.7.15)
  • Jerusalem (2.7.10)—Saladin refers to it as Al Quds, the Islamic name for the city.
  • Moses (4.5.6)
  • The Promised Land (5.4.14)
  • Shiva (5.5.13)
  • Buddha (7.2.16)
  • Confucius (7.4.2)
  • Kamidana (7.4.55)
  • Ikupasuy (7.5.14), (7.5.17)
  • Kami (7.5.19-21), (7.5.29)—either the Japanese word for the supreme being (i.e. god) or natural spirits in the Shinto faith
  • Shinto (7.5.20)
  • Haya-ji (7.5.29)—Brooks says Haya-ji is the Japanese god of the wind while some sources list him as only the god of the whirlwind with Fūjin being the god of the wind
  • Oyamatsumi (7.5.42)

Mythology References

  • Golem (2.6.5)
  • Thor and His Mighty Hammer (8.7.23)

Pop Culture References

  • The Chinese Century (2.1.6)
  • Nike Shoes (2.3.5), (2.3.9)
  • T.G.I.Friday's (2.5.3)
  • Spider-man (2.6.4)—Jurgen uses Spidy's famous "My spider sense [is] tingling" line. Also, so we don't lose the love of all Marvel super fans, it is technically "spider-sense" with a hyphen (Grammatical OCD 1—Brooks 0)
  • Adrenaline Tours (2.6.5)
  • Area 51 (2.6.8)
  • Starbucks (2.7.3), (2.7.29), (2.7.31), (8.7.17)
  • Johnny Bench (3.1.1)
  • America's Army Video Game (3.2.25)
  • Baidu.com (3.3.8)
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (3.4.15)
  • PBS-NPR (3.4.27)
  • AOL (3.5.8)
  • Celebrity Fat Camp (3.5.10)
  • She-Hulk (3.5.22)—once again, Brooks misses the hyphen, and the comic fans revolt (argh).
  • Scarface (4.5.7)
  • The Oscars and Its Red Carpet (4.5.11)
  • The National Football League (4.5.16)
  • Cristal Champagne (4.7.29)
  • Hot Wheels (4.7.58)
  • GameCubes (5.4.8)
  • SpongeBob SquarePants (5.4.19)
  • Gregory Peck in Duel in the Sun (6.1.19)
  • Stepford Suburbia (6.3.7)
  • Old Glory (6.4.12)
  • Roxy Music (6.4.14)
  • Cecil B DeMille (6.4.18)
  • X-Wing Fighter from Star Wars (6.5.10)
  • Megatron from Transformers (6.5.28)—see footnote
  • The View (6.5.70), (6.5.84)
  • The Great Escape (7.1.13)
  • Hitoshi Matsumoto (7.4.4)
  • Masatoshi Hamada (7.4.4)
  • "Hello Kitty" (7.4.47)
  • Barcardi Rum (7.6.15)
  • Redgum's "I Was Only 19" (7.8.12), (9.13.3)
  • Michael Stipe (8.2.7)
  • Iron Maiden "The Trooper" (8.2.20)
  • Jimi Hendrix's "Driving South" (8.2.20)
  • Adam Sandler in The Water Boy (8.2.29)
  • Mickey Mouse (8.3.45)
  • Robby the Robot (8.5.6)
  • Jell-O (8.5.52)
  • Action in the North Atlantic (8.5.65)
  • Gilligan's Island (8.5.65)
  • Alan Hale, Senior (8.5.65)—see footnote
  • The Smiths's "How Soon Is Now" (8.7.7)—see the footnote
  • Free to Be…You and Me (8.7.60)
  • Johnny Clegg's "Asimbonanga" (9.3.1)
  • Oh, God! (9.12.3)

Translation References

  • Nongmin (2.1.4)—literally translates as "farmer" or "peasant" though the term is often used with undertones of social discrimination.
  • Spetznaz (4.4.20)—a term for Russian special forces
  • Otaku (7.4.1)—a Japanese term labeling people with an obsessive dedication to a hobby.
  • Arigato (7.4.57)—Japanese for "thank you"
  • Hibakusha (7.5.2)—victims who survived the atomic bombs dropped on Japan
  • Onsen (7.5.3), (7.5.15)—Japanese for "hot springs"
  • Sansai (7.5.15)—Japanese plant, the name literally translates to "mountain vegetable"
  • Haguma (7.5.17)—Hokkaido brown bears
  • Banzai (7.5.24)—literally the shout of ten-thousand years
  • Nai (7.5.54)—means "not" in Japanese
  • Latifundista (7.6.9)—Spanish term for large areas of property
  • Taikonaut (7.8.28)—slang for a Chinese astronaut
  • Noob (8.2.22)—Internet slang for a newbie or one who noobs. Brooks alters the definition to mean a newly reanimated zombie
  • Section 8 (8.7.55)—military slang used when a solider is discharged for being mentally unfit
  • Yekke (9.11.2)—a German-Jewish person

Weapon References

  • Makarov Semi-auto Pistol (2.3.7)
  • Kalashnikov a.k.a. the AK-47 Assault Rifle (2.5.6), (4.4.10), (4.5.7), (8.2.4)
  • "Merkava" Tank (2.7.34)
  • Molotov Cocktail (3.1.4), (7.1.30)
  • Glock Pistol (3.5.17)
  • Ak-74 Assault Rifle (4.4.10)
  • BMP-1 Tank (4.4.11), (4.4.13)
  • M16A1 Rifle (4.5.7)
  • McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II (4.6.8)
  • M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle (4.7.11), (4.7.31), (4.7.51), (4.7.58), (8.2.2), (8.7.23)
  • High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle a.k.a. HMMWV a.k.a. Humvee (4.7.11), (6.4.28), (6.4.40), (8.2.2), (8.2.45)
  • 2B9 Vasilek Heavy Mortar (4.7.11)
  • FIM-92 Stinger (4.7.11)
  • M60 AVLB Armor Vehicle (4.7.11)
  • The Land Warrior Combat Integration System (4.7.15)—it actually exists and, yes, we live in the future today
  • MOPP (Mission Oriented Protective Posture) Gear (4.7.15)
  • M270 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) (4.7.16). (4.7.37)
  • M109A6 "Paladin" Howitzer and M107 155mm Projectiles (4.7.23)
  • Mark (MK) 19 Grenade Launcher (4.7.31)
  • RAH-66 Comanche Helicopter (4.7.37), (4.7.53)
  • AGM-114 Hellfire and Hydra 70 Rocket Launchers (4.7.37)
  • M1 Abrams Tank (4.7.37), (6.1.21)
  • Flechette (4.7.37)
  • Beretta M9 Semi-automatic Pistol (4.7.53)
  • Marder Tank (5.2.14)
  • Leopard Tank (5.2.16)
  • Tokarev Pistol (5.3.7)
  • Sukhoi Su-25 "Rook" Jet (5.3.13), (5.3.21)
  • T-72 Tank (5.3.15)
  • RVX Chemical Weapon (5.3.16)
  • Rashtriya Rifles (5.5.9)
  • SEPECAT Jaguar Fighter (5.5.13)—in India, this fighter is called a Shamsher
  • .22 Rimfire Ammunition (6.1.26)
  • AMT Lightning .22-caliber Carbine (6.3.5)
  • Mobile Tactical High-Energy Laser or MTHEL (6.4.28)—yeah, it's a real
  • ZEUS-Humvee Laser Ordnance Neutralization System (6.4.28)—yeah, it's a real thing too
  • F/A-22 Raptor Fighter (6.5.2)
  • AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon or JSOW (6.5.28)
  • BLU-97B Combined Effects Bomb (6.5.28)
  • B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber (6.5.28)
  • B-1 Lancer Strategic Bomber (6.5.28)
  • B-52 Bomber a.k.a. BUFF or 'Big Ugly Fat Fellow' (6.5.28)
  • F-15 Eagle Jet Fighter (6.5.28)
  • F-16 Falcon Jet Fighter (6.5.28)
  • F-14 Tomcat Jet Fighter (6.5.28)
  • F/A-18 Hornet Jet Fighter (6.5.28)
  • F-22 Raptor Jet Fighter (6.5.28)
  • SAMs or Surface-to-Air Missiles (6.5.28)
  • Flak Anti-Aircraft Guns (6.5.28)—short for Flugabwehrkanone because no one wants to say Flugabwehrkanone all the time
  • C-130 Hercules (6.5.26)
  • UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter (6.5.83)
  • Mace (7.1.31)
  • Halberd (7.1.31)
  • Double-bladed battle-axe (7.1.31)
  • Claymore (7.1.31)—the two-handed long sword, not the mine
  • SSV-33 Ural Command Ship (7.2.7)
  • GuntōSword (7.4.4)
  • Howa Type 89 Assault Rifle (7.4.5)
  • Katana Sword (7.4.60)
  • B-29 Superfortress Bomber (7.5.2)
  • Chinese Type 094 Submarine (7.7.11)
  • JL-2 Ballistic Missiles (7.7.36)
  • USS Saratoga Aircraft Carrier (7.7.48), (7.9.2)
  • HMS Victory 100-gun First-rate Ship (7.7.48)
  • The Russian Cruiser Aurora (7.7.48)
  • Chinese Type 095 Submarine (7.7.96)
  • M1117 Armored Security Vehicle (8.2.2)
  • XM8 Rifle (8.2.4)
  • NATO 5.56 "Cherry PIE" Cartridge (8.2.5)
  • M249 Light Machine Gun or SAW (8.2.22), (8.7.23)
  • PPSh-41 Submachine Gun (8.4.6)
  • Mosin-Nagant Bolt-Action Rifle (8.4.6)
  • DShK Machine Gun (8.4.8)
  • Flamethrower (8.4.8)
  • Katyusha Rocket Launcher (8.4.8)
  • T-34 Tank (8.4.8)
  • SU-152 Self-propelled Gun (8.4.15)
  • APS Amphibious Rifle (8.5.26)
  • USS Frank Cable (8.5.38)
  • Grenades (8.7.23)

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