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World War Z

World War Z


by Max Brooks

Jurgen Warmbrunn & Paul Knight

Character Analysis

Jurgen Warmbrunn and Paul Knight are both spies—although less "bang, bang shoot-em up" and more "sit at a computer for hours doing research." (Now that's our type of spy.) Both men gather enough data to compile the "Warmbrunn-Knight" report, a comprehensive and concise packet with the information necessary to prevent a full-scale zombie invasion.

Their findings are mostly ignored. One full-scale zombie invasion coming up.

As previously seen with Fernando's, MacDonald's, and Nurvy's tales, World War Z doesn't show government, politics, or bureaucracy in the most flattering light. In Warmbrunn and Knight's story, this inept trio goes for the gold in the category of epic fails.

Despite doing everything they can to educate the leaders of the world, Warmbrunn and Knight are ignored. As Warmbrunn notes: "I know a lot of credit has been heaped upon the South African war plan, and deservedly so, but if more people had read our report and worked to make its recommendations a reality, then [the Redeker Plan] would have never needed to exist" (2.6.18).

The main gist of Warmbrunn's story is that governments work in a painfully reactive fashion rather than a proactive one, meaning they attempt to solve problems rather than prevent them from becoming problems in the first place. This governmental habit costs many people their lives in the zombie wars (and probably doesn't help us much out in the real world, either).

What? Oh, you want to know more about the "Warmbrunn-Knight" report. Well, we've got you covered over in our "Symbols, Imagery, Allegory" section.

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