Walter M. Miller
One of the first post-apocolyptic novels, this is Millers vision of humanity as it rebuilds after nuclear war. Through the eyes of the monks of the Order of Leibowitz the novel follows humanity as it climbs its way back to civilization. In the first part humankind deals with the disorder and chaos of a nuclear war. Next, Miller follows the ascent of a second renaissance. The last part depicts humanitys fall after another nuclear holocaust. The only thing that challenges the pessimism of the ending is the small colony that departs Earth when it is on the verge of destruction. Carrying a small group, lead by the monks of Leibowitz, Miller allows that it might be possible to break the vicious circle humanity has let itself be drawn into, if, it breaks from a philosophy that is preoccupied with materialism, and instead accepts a theoes that is centered on spirituality.