Continuing my trek through previously-read-but-dimly-remembered Robert Heinlein books. This one was eminently skippable, were it not for my borderline OCD about "doing it right".
It is a collection of three stories from Heinlein's "Future History" universe.
Have you ever wondered what Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale would have been like in Heinlein's hands? Wonder no longer, partner: "If This Goes On—" describes the USA in the grip of an oppressive, evil theocracy. The protagonist, John Lyle, is a minor soldier assigned to guard duty at the palace of the head dude, the Prophet. One night, he encounters Sister Judith, a Virgin designated to "service" the Prophet. It's love at first sight, of course. But Judith is shocked and aggrieved when she discovers what that "service" entails. And John, for his part, resolves to make sure Judith is rescued from her servitude. Which, essentially, means he has to shake off his loyalty to the theocracy, as well as his own puritanical beliefs, and sign up with the underground revolutionary movement looking to restore freedom. And (spoiler) he winds up playing a key role in the decisive battle.
"Coventry" is set post-Revolution, and the USA has been turned into a libertarian sorta-paradise. The only crime is physically harming someone—in which case you must either submit to psychological "readjustment", or go to Coventry, a walled-off area for people who'd rather not submit. David MacKinnon, in trouble for punching a guy in the nose, chooses the latter. MacKinnon is (initially) agressively stupid and petulant, totally unprepared for Coventry. Which, as will surprise no reader of political theory, isn't Anarchtopia, but has developed its own semi-thuggish governments, in conflict with themselves, but also looking to break out and wage war against the outside world.
And finally, there's "Misfit", a relatively short yarn about the early career of Andrew Jackson Libby. He's signed up with the "Cosmic Construction Corps", an outfit that performs dangerous feats of building space infrastructure. As it turns out, Libby is a math prodigy, able to perform detailed calculations quickly in his head. Heinlein, like the other SF writers of the era, totally missed the point that computers would make this sort of ability near-worthless. But in this story, it saves everybody's bacon a couple of times. Yay, Libby!