I was obliquely introduced to Tom Clancy when I was in high school. At home, the Gulf War, which had only recently begun in earnest, couldn’t be escaped. It seemed to be the only thing anyone talked about, either in person or on the TV. At school, things weren’t much different. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the bulk of my history teacher’s teachings that year somehow related to the war. Whether we were discussing the Cold War or World War II, everything seemed to cycle round to the present state of things. I couldn’t help but focus on how close the Gulf War seemed – like it was happening in our backyard with the all-too constant coverage and conversations. “War” was in vogue.