according to wikipedia (my favourite source for very quick fact finding) terry pratchett is the second most widely read author in the uk. i assume j. k. rowling must be the first... wait while i check that out on wikipedia (haha, just kidding). terry pratchett is one of those authors that i always wanted to like, but never quite could. i've read a couple of books from the discword series and just couldn't really get into them. which is odd, as i typically enjoy fantasy. i did enjoy the bbc radio series about mort though, that was quite good. but none of this has anything to do with 'only you can save mankind', which is in fact not part of the discworld series, but rather part of pratchett's johnny maxwell series. i liked this one. pratchett wrote it at the time of the first gulf war in iraq and it was more or less a commentary on how with all of our modern technology, it is possible to desensitize people enough that war seems like nothing more than a video game. no more holding your fire until you see the whites of their eyes. george w.'s continuation of his daddy's war in iraq ensures that pratchett's commentary appears less dated than it otherwise might.